By George Willis, New Mexico Sun
The 30th Handicapped and Elderly Assistance to Service Our Neighbors (HEATS ON) event Oct. 15 served as a reminder of the need to help others prepare their homes for winter.
Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Department of Senior Affairs, the United Association (U.A.) of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union 412 used the event to celebrate their partnership to provide essential services to seniors as the weather gets colder.
“Senior Affairs sees the positive impact partnerships like this have in helping older adults maintain their independence and remain in their homes,” Director of Senior Affairs, Anna Sanchez, told KRQE. “The essential services the Local 412 volunteers provide do more than just ensure the heat is on, they help provide safety, comfort, and a better quality of life.”
The HEATS ON Project is a national program. According to KRQE, volunteers help install smoke detectors, replace light bulbs, start furnaces, and check for carbon monoxide safety precautions. In Albuquerque, the volunteers help 100 homes belonging to seniors and disabled community members each year.
“This project has become more than a volunteer service day for the Local 412, this day is seen as us taking care of our own, that is how invested we have become in servicing our community,” Union 412 Business Manager, Courtenay Eichhorst, told KRQE. “We are proud of the partnership for the past three decades and grateful to continue this work with Mayor Tim Keller and the city of Albuquerque Senior Affairs.”