Solar Spotlight: Shawn Kerek


December 02, 2016

It is our volunteers who make our work at GRID possible. During this holiday season, we would like to shine the solar spotlight on one particular volunteer, Shawn Kerek, who has already given so much in service.

Shawn was born and raised by a single mother in Los Angeles. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he would later have to drop out of high school so that he could care for his mother. In 1985, Shawn enlisted in the US Army as a transportation specialist. During his time in the military, Shawn was stationed throughout the US and in Korea, where he met his wife. He was later deployed to the Middle East during the first Gulf War.
After his service Shawn moved his family to North Carolina and successfully worked in the asphalt business and as a truck driver. He eventually moved back to California, but unfortunately began to suffer from a number of health issues, including nine strokes and bleeding on the brain. According to doctors at the VA, Shawn  was suffering from Gulf War syndrome. Eventually, the severity of these health issues impacted his livelihood and he lost his job. 

Sadly, Shawn’s wife passed away last August and he now lives on 50% VA disability with his daughter in Tujunga. However, that hasn’t stopped Shawn from trying to improve his life. Through the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Program, he attends LA Trade Tech, studying solar and renewable technologies. He volunteers with GRID and puts in hours helping other struggling families in LA go solar and save money.

Like many of the families we serve, the largest ongoing expense to Shawn and his daughter is their electrical bill.  This holiday season we would like to show Shawn how much we care and appreciate him. While Shawn and his family meet the income requirements of our program, they unfortunately fall outside of our qualified zones for funding. However, just like Shawn, we aren’t going to let that stop us. 

We’re asking for your help to raise money to provide Shawn and other veterans with solar systems. Shawn will be the first to benefit from this effort. Please join us and help us raise money to provide Shawn and others like him with a solar system that will lower his energy bill and provide him with much needed savings! Let’s give something back to those who’ve served. Thank you and happy holidays.