Topics discussed in this episode:
We sit down with past Bright Ideas Grant Winner Tracy McIntyre to talk about the impact the program has in our schools and talk 2019/20 application deadline dates. Energy efficiency guru Charles Westmoreland joins the podcast to talk about a few things you can do around the home this fall that can save you money now and later down the road. Finally, we talk to President/CEO of the United Way of Onslow County, Raquel Painter, about the impact the non-profit is making in our community.
Speaker 1: (00:00) Music.:
Steve Goodson: (00:06) Welcome listeners to the latest episode of Flippin' the Switch, a podcast brought to you by the folks at Jones -Oslow EMC. This is Steve Goodson, and I'm your host, and I'll be with you each month. I'll be sharing things about the co-op and what we're doing in the community energy-efficiency tips that you can use around the home, cool things that we're doing to assist our members to enhance customer service and much more. So with that said, let's start flipping the switch. We're kicking off the show today with our Assistant Vice President of Community and Public Relations, Paula Re dick, and we're going to talk bright ideas, educational grant program. And after we talk to Paula, I'm going to take a few minutes to talk with one of our all-star educators in our area about the program. So here we go, Paula, thank you for joining me. Paula Redick: (00:52) Absolutely. My pleasure to be here. I love to talk bright ideas. Steve Goodson: (00:55) You love to talk about bright ideas. Bright ideas, tell our listeners where Jones-Onslow's been, where we're at now, where we're going. Just talk about the program a little. Paula Redick: (01:05) All right. Well, this year we're excited because it marks the 25th anniversary of bright ideas. These are grants that can be awarded in any discipline. They support innovative, creative initiatives that cannot be covered by traditional school financing. And educators can apply individually for a grant up to 500 or in teams for awards up to 2000. The program began in 1994, and since then we've awarded over $1.2 million to fund over 1,890 projects, which more importantly have reached over 500,000 students in our areas in all subjects, including science, technology, music, and the arts. Steve Goodson: (01:39) Awesome. So this year, tell me about the deadline. We started taking applications on August 1st. We have an early bird deadline, which will probably be passed by the time most of those listen to this, but tell us when the normal deadline is again, and tell us the process in case I hope we have educators listening to this podcast. Tell us a little bit. Paula Redick: (02:01) So I've been out visiting all the schools and supplying the principals with their information for this year's grant program. This year we're going to be giving away $75,000 in bright ideas grants, very excited about that. The deadline date this year is September 27th by five o'clock everybody can go to our website and click on the bright ideas banner and build their application online. We do have an early bird deadline, which is September 13th. And we'll be giving five $100 visa gift cards randomly to those that apply by the early bird date. Steve Goodson: (02:31) Awesome. So educators, if you're listening to this and it's before the 13th, get your grants in and you may qualify for a random drawing of a $100 visa gift card, I think you said. Awesome. Well, thank you for that background. Now going to the all-star, not that you're not at all-star Paula. Joining me today is Tracy McIntyre. She is a stem teacher at Queens Creek Elementary school, and multi-year bright ideas grant recipient. Tracy McIntyre: (02:59) Yes, sir. Glad and thank you for letting me be here today. Steve Goodson: (03:01) Absolutely. So I referenced it just a second ago when I talked to Paula. But you're back at school now. And you're hoping obviously to have a good school year. But you're hoping to have a normal school year? Tracy McIntyre: (03:14) Oh yes. Yeah, oh yeah, based on last year. Oh yeah. Steve Goodson: (03:18) Okay. Well good. Yeah, we're good. Well, I'm hoping for you too because that means the hurricanes and that means we like working hard, but we also don't like a hurricane. So I'm hoping you have a normal school year this year. So let's talk about bright ideas. First. I want to congratulate you on being awarded a grant. Last year and other years, don't know if you know, but last year we awarded 350 grants to educators, Jones, Onslow, and Pender counties, the Topsail area of Pender county. We've got $750,000 worth of requests. And while we would have loved to have funded every one of those projects, if we had even contemplated doing that, Paula and I wouldn't have jobs. So it's a good thing that we didn't even think about doing that. And we have a budget, but we have a budget we try and stick to. So we did award $75,000 in grants. There were 76 grants total, 294 educators. So again, you're in pretty elite company. So again, congratulations. Tracy McIntyre: (04:15) Well, thank you. Very honored to be a multiple recipient of the bright ideas grant. Steve Goodson: (04:18) Great. So let's talk about your project from last year. Really cool title. I don't have any idea what it was, but it's kind of a really cool title. Makey Makey...Beautiful Learning Together and you're awarded a $500 grant. So tell me a little bit about what you're trying to do with the project. Did you accomplish it and how the money was spent and kind of the results? Tracy McIntyre: (04:41) Well, I looked at it, I attended some workshops, some professional developed workshops and I came across this one called Makey Makey, and I got the opportunity to play with them, and I was like, I've got to use this for my classroom. And basically, Makey Makey was invented by two MIT students, Jay Silver, and Eric Rosenbloom. And they came up with a way of using a circuit board with a USB port and alligator clips to basically, instead of using your keyboard for your computer, you can use everyday objects to make your computer go. And when I'm talking everyday objects, I'm including even food into that. And my students actually played with food to make the movement on the computer, and it's all based on electricity, electrical impulses from the, from the everyday object to the computer for sub singles. Steve Goodson: (05:32) That is, that's like really cool. Tracy McIntyre: (05:35) Yeah. I played Pac-man video game with gummy bears as one of the things that the professional development. Oh yeah, some music as well. And my students, they were just elated because they didn't realize how I got the title was let's make beautiful music together. And instead of music, I put in Makey Makey. That's how I got that interesting title. And the kids actually ended up using popsicle sticks, bananas, green beans even. And they, of course, had to have some type of conductivity. So they learned about connectivity, electricity to make it work. And they made sounds on the computer program that is attached to the Makey Makey website. Steve Goodson: (06:17) So I'm going to not really toot our horn, but if you had not gotten this grant, obviously you, because you're a creative, innovative educator, you would have found a way to teach subject matter in a different way. I feel very confident of that. But, so I guess this grant just made it, I don't want to say easier, but it just made it more fun, more hands-on, more interactive. Is that a good assessment? Tracy McIntyre: (06:44) Oh, that's a great assessment. It also allows the students to understand electricity in a whole different way. For example, they didn't realize that their own body is full electricity as well. And I actually had them, and Paula was there., they actually made themselves into piano keys. So they were able to use their body as actually one of the everyday objects to make the piano sound and key. So they were learning how to make songs. So it was connecting it with music as well. And so the kids were just, it provided such an opportunity for them to see electricity in a whole different way then let's make the light bulb light. Steve Goodson: (07:18) So I'm going to date myself here and not a lot of people will probably will, might, they might know this reference, I might not. But the movie Big with Tom Hanks where he's jumping on the big keyboard, and I think it's FAO Schwartz in New York or somewhere in a big toy store somewhere. Not many of you may know that reference, but I'm old enough to remember that. So this wouldn't beyond jumping on a keyboard, they actually were actually the keyboards themselves. Tracy McIntyre: (07:43) Yes. And they attach the alligator clip to them and they, they hit where they were attached, and they became the actual keyboard themselves. And there's other programs, there is video games. There's also a program they connected with S, which teaches them also, they can use the Makey Makey to make an animated cartoon using the Scratch program. And it's such a simple concept, and simple invention and the kids just went crazy. The creativity imagination of it is endless with it. And the kids just went for it, they were like, what else do you got that I can use to make, make the sound or do this with it? And there's a whole list of great things. There was one that they really like where it made Michael Jackson single song Beat It. Steve Goodson: (08:26) I'm going to make an assumption. This was not at Queens Creek Elementary, correct? Last year? Yes, it was. So this is what elementary kids were doing. Alright. So you know, I had trouble with spelling in elementary school in math and a lot of my teachers would probably remember that. But that's, that's pretty amazing that kids now are doing the things that they're doing in elementary school. Tracy McIntyre: (08:52) I am going to even take it a little bit further this year and add coding with it. Steve Goodson: (08:56) You're jumping ahead, but that's okay. So give me a second here, that's my big question. So you've got your application ready for this year or getting it ready. Give us a preview. So go ahead now. Tracy McIntyre: (09:27) So the title is Going where no man has gone before. I like to take all the grants that I get and even extended it even more. And some of the other previous grants that I've won, I've, I've even gone even further. In fact, when Paula came in last year to award me the current grant, I was working with one of the grants I had one from Jones-Onslow before. I was like, yes, take a look. She thought it was just really amazing for her to be able to see that one. But me doing two of them already. Steve Goodson: (09:50) Well, that is awesome. Well Tracy I just want to wish you good luck for this year. Just thank you so much for what you do because it's folks like you that, you know, we're able to do what we do from a monetary standpoint, but you're able to take those funds and put them into action. It's really shaping our youth, and it's really shaping our kids, and it's just really doing a lot of good in our community. So thank you so much for what you're doing. Looking forward to your grant this year, Paula, thank you for coming on and telling us about bright ideas. If you don't remember, Paula has an extremely long title, but we just sometimes call her school lady, and so this is one of her many jobs that she does here, and it's probably her favorite job. Paula Redick: (10:41) It's my favorite because I've got to see as Tracy said first-hand in the different classrooms and throughout the community, the impact these grants have had on the students that she said it shapes their education, what they're able to learn that they wouldn't have without the, the creativity of these grants. Tracy McIntyre: (10:55) I mean I know I speak for all recipients when I say this. We are very extremely grateful and appreciative of Jones-Onslow for these bright ideas because it provides an opportunity and experience for our students we would not be able to do. And it gets them inspired and enthusiastic about learning. And it's really wonderful that you guys provide that opportunity for us to be able to do that with our students. So thank you. Steve Goodson: (11:17) Well you're, you're welcome. And I pretty much don't have anything to say after she said that. So, we will be right back. Commercial: (11:27) It's storm season in North Carolina, and Jones-Onslow EMC is ready with a stronger, smarter, more resilient power grid. This advanced planning combined with the dedication of our line crews and the strength of the cooperative network means we're prepared for whatever the storm season brings. We encourage you to be prepared to. Visit joemc.com for storm safety tips. That's joemc.com. Steve Goodson: (11:54) Welcome back. Flipping the switch. Next up, my man Charles Westmorland, our energy efficiency expert. He is here to impart some words of wisdom to our listeners as it relates to using energy wisely and efficiently around the home. So Charles, welcome back to the show. Charles W.: (12:14) Thanks man. Steve Goodson: (12:16) Good to have you here. So we're going to talk about fall. So we're midway through September now. The second week in September and falls right around the corner. Temperatures are going to start cooling off in the next few weeks, but now is a great time for folks to do some things around the house to help with the energy efficiency of their home this winter and on into next year. So let's talk about a couple of things. I'll give you the kind of the the headers and you could hit on them. Fall maintenance and just some habits to remember as we kind of move into the fall. So let's start with fall maintenance. Charles W.: (12:58) Absolutely. Yeah. We've touched on this all during the summer where we were talking about, uh, cooling and now's the time to really get busy with it. We need to think about having our, our systems check. Of course, we've talked about that. Call your heating and air contractor having come out and do an overall maintenance check on the system to get ready for wintertime. They will service the unit, check everything out. Of course, change all the air filters, you know, you know my spin on that. Um, but we also need to do some other things around the home as well that we can do ourselves. Now's a good time. If you have an older home like myself is to go around and check all of your storm winds, making sure they're closed, make sure everything's tight. Uh, check around your doors, make sure that if you need to replace any weather stripping or anything, now's the time to do it. Uh, things along those lines. There's a lot of things the homeowner can do to, uh, to help create more comfort in the home. We want to get rid of all any drafts that we can, that we can locate and determine. So it's just a good time to, to take a weekend and go over the house on a Saturday and just go around and make sure, again that we've got everything sealed up tight and we're getting ready to go into the, into the colder weather. Steve Goodson: (14:22) So you mentioned weather stripping and caulking. We've talked about it. I've talked about it with you on this segment. I'm not the most mechanically inclined person in the world. If I've got something pressing around my home, I normally call you to provide assistance. But the weather stripping and caulking, especially around the windows in older homes, you mentioned that's a pretty DIY even I could do something like that. Charles W.: (14:56) Absolutely. It's and it, and this is the help raise the comfort zone, the house, the product on the market today, Home Depot, Lowe's, they all have folks in there that uh, that you can ask. I mean, most of this stuff is very user-friendly. A lot of it's simply a removing the back of it, like a piece of tape and working it around the windows. You can cut it with a pair of scissors. It's just very user-friendly and easy to do. You can place it around the doors. Uh, you can place it around cracks in the windows and things of this nature. But yeah, it's, it's really easy to do. And they have just a full line of products over there, either location, a home depot, Lowe's or any, any of your, any of your hardware store. Uh, and those folks are more than glad to stop and talk with you. And a lot of times they can point you in a, in a better direction. Steve Goodson: (15:55) That's great. So let's talk about some habits. So obviously when the weather starts cooling off a little bit from 90-degree temperature or mid-80s or whatever, and we're kind of in-between the cooling season and the heating season there's a lot of times that you can do some things around your home that can make you comfortable without necessarily using electricity. So we talked about making sure earlier about making sure that we had good sealed windows and doors and stuff like that. But let's just say that we want to cool our home a little bit during a fall afternoon as it comes about to talk about some habits with the windows and the thermostat and things like that that we can get some free cooling, I guess you'd say from mother nature. Charles W.: (16:54) Absolutely. And this is something that I've noticed that we've got away from, uh, opening windows. Uh, it's free. Let's use the free stuff. We've, we've all gotten used to, uh, having a con, uh, very comfortable. Most of those conditions, space, uh, to live in. And so we used the thermostat to regulate that. But when the temperatures 70 degrees out, there's no point in having air conditioning on or even if it's 75, you can raise those windows, turn your thermostat up as far as the cooling goes or down as far as the heating goes. But utilize the free stuff. I know it's a little bit of a deal to walk around a house, especially if you have a larger home and start raising windows, but you had to raise all of them but raise a few in the back and a few in the front. So you get a cross draft across the house, folks with two-story homes, especially at night and in the evening. Uh, you can raise those windows at night and, and really cool the house down. Um, it's just changing our habits. We have a tendency to go straight from air to heat and from heat to air. And it's very rare that I go to a home on our system and see windows open. And when I do, I always talk to the folks about it and tell them, uh, basically that I appreciate what they're doing because they're being energy efficiency smart. It doesn't cost us anything other than the, uh, actually going around and taking the time to open them. And that's a great time while they're open to use your, uh, overhead fans as well to help circulate that cooler air. So yeah, there's a, there's a lot of things we can do in the, in the fall. Uh, that doesn't, that doesn't cost a thing. Steve Goodson: (18:55) I was going to ask you about that. So we've talked in the past about ceiling fans, about they cool people, they don't call rooms, but I would think if you're in a room, the combination of opening up windows and turning on the ceiling fan, especially, like I said, if you're in the room, you can really be comfortable in a room, opening up a window, turning on a ceiling fan and just kind of chilling out. Right, Charles W.: (19:19) Exactly and what we're doing with the fans in the fall is we're moving that as the outside air flows into the house from outside through natural transfer, we're using the fans just to move it around the house basically. Again, it's not making any cooler, but we're moving that fresh air around the house. Steve Goodson: (19:38) So hold on. So remind folks, I need to be reminded of this. When we want to circulate air, cool air, a fan needs to turn in which direction. Charles W.: (19:50) You know, you're cold air falls and your hot air rises. So in the wintertime, uh, in a lot of cases we'll turn the fans in the upward position to bounce the air off the ceiling. So we don't set up any drafts in the house, but in the fall, uh, I would have them blowing down. Steve Goodson: (20:12) So is that most of the switches, would that be clockwise or counterclockwise or does it depend on the fan? I guess? I don't know. Charles W.: (20:19) Yeah, well you look at your fan blades. Most of them blow down in, in the counterclockwise position and up in the clockwise position. Steve Goodson: (20:26) Okay. Okay, good deal. So the last thing to talk about water heaters. So water heaters. Is there anything that we can do? Obviously maintenance wise, we talked about going around and checking the doors, the windows, you know, having your heat pumps service wintertime's coming if you got your water heater in the, in an unconditioned space conditioned space. Tell me some things that you might want to consider doing with the water heater as we are moving into the fall and into the winter. Charles W.: (20:58) Exactly. And of course you know where we live, we're in a transit area we got, we got Camp Lejeune here, and the great Marine Corps and our folks are in and out and, and a lot of our folks are from different areas across the country. So if, if they, if they're new to the area, especially if your water heater is located in a, in a garage, which is, which is considered an unconditioned area because in the wintertime it's going to be cold in the garage. Again, I'll go back to Lowe's and home depot in your hardware stores and things of that nature. Get a rep and put around that water heater, a blanket. They're very user-friendly. Most of them come with a sealant or a tape on them and you basically just wrap a blanket around them is what you're doing. And of course, that helps, uh, limit the heat transfer. And uh, if it's in the house, it's not that big a deal because it's in a conditioned space if it's in a closet, in the house or whatever. But if it's located outside of where your house is heated or cooled, then we probably need to put a blanket around it. And of course, again, we want the thermostats on those things set on about 120 degrees. Uh, the homeowner can do that. It's not complicated. And, uh, if they have any questions about how to do that, of course, they can call the office and uh, and get in touch with me and I'll be glad to give them a call back and, and talk them through it. Like right quick. It takes about five minutes. Steve Goodson: (22:24) Lastly, you mentioned it earlier when you talked about the heat pump getting it serviced. The one thing folks can do every month when they get their bill...folks, we're going to repeat this literally every podcast that I have Charles on here cause we really want you guys to understand how important it is. One thing they can do every month when they get their bill that's a good reminder is to what? Charles W.: (22:50) Change those air filters. Stevie and I have talked about it and the reason we keep mentioning, I keep going to out the homes and I keep finding these, these dirty filters for lack of a better, a better way to put it, but every 30 days religiously, it's the best thing you can do for your heating and cooling system is very cheap and it's easy to do, but it's kinda like the windows. You know, we're, we got busy lifestyles today, but we do need to take 15 or 20 minutes on that Saturday afternoon before we head up to the golf course or the beach or wherever, whatever we're doing and, and, and check our house to make sure that we've got everything in order. Again, we wouldn't dream of driving our car 700 or 800 or a 1,000 miles without checking and having it checked, carrying it through the dealer and having it checked. And this is the same thing with our heating cooling system, especially in the wintertime because we go back to those auxiliary heat strips. If that heat pump is not operating properly and not functioning at its full capacity, then those heat strips are going to come into play, and you're looking at spending a whole lot of money. They're very expensive when you're on, again, we go from about 30 cents an hour to $1.30 cents an hour, so we don't want that to happen. So that's why we need to get our guys out, get everything checked out. So we put our best foot forward going into the heating system and as Stevie said, check those air filters. They are cheap. It's easy to do; it's just something we've got to do, it's just a habit. We've got to get into. Steve Goodson: (24:28) Words of wisdom from the energy efficiency guru at Jones-Onslow, EMC. Charles, thank you for joining me again. I know you'll be on probably next month or the following month to talk about some more things that we can do around the home to maximize our energy dollars and to help keep electric bills in check. So thank you again and folks, we'll be right back. Commercial: (24:52) It's been a hot summer, and that means your air conditioning system has been working hard to keep you comfortable. It only takes a couple of minutes to change the air filter in your heating and cooling system. It's simple and easy and changing your filter every month can save you up to $82 a year, but that's not all you can save. A dirty air filter makes your system work harder to keep you cool, which wastes energy changing your air filter regularly helps to ensure efficient operation and keep your electricity bill in check. This simple change out can also reduce the need for costly maintenance and prevent damage to your system. And when winter arrives, it's just as important to change your air filter regularly. Your heating system needs to work efficiently to keep you warm, and a clean air filter helps. For more helpful energy-saving tips, visit joemc.com and keep your heating system working as efficiently as possible. Steve Goodson: (25:48) Welcome back to the final segment of Flippin' the Switch. You know, we've got a lot of nonprofits in our community that are doing some really good work, and I'm pleased to have one of the presidents and CEOs of one of those nonprofits with me today. I have Raquel Painter from United Way of Onslow County so Raquel, thank you for joining me. Raquel Painter: (26:08) Thank you for having. Steve Goodson: (26:09) So tell me, before we get into the great things that you guys are doing for our community and in our community, tell me a little bit about you. Tell me, uh, when you came to United Way started with them and what you did before that life before United Way. How about that? Raquel Painter: (26:25) So I joined the United Way in April of 2018. So before that, um, actually I spent um, 26 and a half years in the marine corps, retired a little early, so I didn't quite hit my thirties. I get joked around by my fellow peers that I can do another three and a half years. Um, while I was at Wounded Warrior Battalion, I was fortunate enough to be the senior enlisted advisor there and advise on warrior care, and I really saw the good work that nonprofits and faith-based organizations did for wounded warriors. So, um, that's when I saw a different calling for myself. I had decided to go into the nonprofit world, um, worked a little bit with the um, veteran organization but really wanted to focus my efforts on the community that I lived in. And United Way provides that opportunity for me. Steve Goodson: (27:15) For those folks that are not familiar with United Way...what do you guys do? Raquel Painter: (27:21) Well, the, we do a lot of stuff cause we really bring the community together and focus on the needs of the community at the time. But our real focus area points are education, financial stability, and the health and well-being of our residents. And through that, um, we partner with other nonprofit organizations that we raise funding for and support their calls that focus on helping our children, helping our elderly, really the most vulnerable in our community. And in addition to that, um, and we'll talk a little bit about the hurricane, but you know, we manage the Volunteer Onslow for Onslow County. Steve Goodson: (27:56) Okay. For all the folks that want to volunteer in the community. Okay. Raquel Painter: (28:00) Yes. So we managed that. Um, you know, last year alone, for example, um, 109 agencies used Volunteer Onslow, and you know, we supported, uh, over a 100.000 volunteer hours and also saved the county over $2 million in sweat equity. Steve Goodson: (28:17) That's, that's great. That's great. So one program I want to talk about specifically is the CHEW Program. Next month is co-op month throughout the country. And so Jones-Onslow obviously is a co-op form of business. The employees are going to be doing some things in the community during the month of October in addition to what we normally do. So one of the things that we hope to get involved in is with your CHEW Program, so tell us a little bit about the CHEW Program. Raquel Painter: (28:46) Oh yes. I've definitely loved the CHEW Program. It's such a great need for our community. But CHEW is an acronym for children, healthy eating on weekends. And what we do at the United Way is provide backpacks every weekend for children who need it. So as we know, children who are hungry don't learn as much in class, you know, classroom setting due to, you know, stomach pains, headaches, you know, you name it, cause the, uh, plethora of health, health issues for them. But what started all that one school and ten children is now up to all Onslow County schools and 900 students. Steve Goodson: (29:23) But it started at one school in Onslow County here and um, it's kind of picked up steam and steamrolled, and now it's really grown, correct? Raquel Painter: (29:31) Yes. Yes. So we started actually with an Onslow County School social worker down at Dixon and the Dixon School district and um, has really since then, but they saw the need identified it. Um, you know, came to United Way and you know, we worked together to come up with a solution. Steve Goodson: (29:50) Well, that's good. I mean that's fantastic. We can help kids that are coming to school that need to get a breakfast and a lunch during the week, but you know, you send them home and kind of take for granted. We go home and open up our refrigerators or looking at our cabinets and find stuff there and we just have a tendency to maybe take that for granted. That's awesome. That's, that's a great program. And like I said, we hope to be involved in that next month or our employees and doing some kind of pack out or chew out or something of that nature. So looking forward to that. Raquel Painter: (30:23) Yes. So on Friday, yes. Friday we just officially named the CHEW House our CHEW HOUSE. So it's a remarkable system in there on how it's set up, and it works. And you know, when talking about 900 bags a weekend, that consists of three dinners, two lunches, two breakfast is, and healthy snacks for them to sustain them through the weekend. You know, that's a lot of food that goes out every week. Steve Goodson: (30:47) Wow. So that's something that during the school year, it's just perpetual every whatever day y'all do it, Thursday, Friday or come whatever. You guys are gonna put these bags together and get them to the schools. That's awesome. Let's transition. We started talking a little bit about Hurricane Florence. We know the devastation that our community had last year with it. And we're, we're hoping as it's kind of ironic while we're recording this, we're sitting here about two days out from Hurricane Dorian. So we all are obviously watching a Hurricane Dorian and what it's doing right now. But let's talk about Hurricane Florence. You guys played a really active role in the community during Hurricane Florence. So tell me about what United Way of Onslow County did. Raquel Painter: (31:32) Yes. So I guess the, um, the two biggest, um, things that United Way did right away was, um, initiated all the information to go through our 2-1-1 resource line. Cause a lot of the um, phone towers went down, people's power went out. Um, so all our information was pushed through 2-1-1. So a person could call 2-1-1 and find out what road they are, where the shelters were, where the food distribution was going. So we helped in that aspect to really get the word out about where people could actually go to get food and water, just the necessities. Um, and of course Volunteer Onslow stood up as the volunteer, um, resource center for Onslow County. So people who are coming into the community, for example, Samaritan's Purse, was it a, a big one that came into the community to help, um, we kinda make sure we know who's on the ground, who they have, where they're located at, what services they're providing so we can push it out to our residents and know what is actually going on. Steve Goodson: (32:31) Kind of a central gathering point, right. You'd like a one-stop shop resource that folks could, folks on both ends of that. Both the charities that might be coming into the community as well as the citizens that might need assistance could come to you or go to the website, could go wherever and find out about these resources. Raquel Painter: (32:52) Yes, the connecting point for the community. Steve Goodson: (32:54) That's awesome. And you also had boots on the ground though. I saw some pictures of volunteers. I guess y'all coordinated some efforts of cleanups and of distributions of funds. So tell me a little bit about that as well. Raquel Painter: (33:05) So, um, in addition, we had, um, you know, our local volunteers who want to do something, give back to, um, their neighbors and residents. So what we did was organized, um, volunteers that go out every morning and help our elderly and our disabled veterans to do their yard cleanup, you know, um, which play a huge role just because they're not able to do that or have resources or a lot of them didn't have family in the area to help them. Some volunteers stepped up and helped in that effort. But I think the biggest one is, um, the grants that we put in for, to come into our community because, you know, whatever money comes to Onslow County, we ensure it stays in Onslow County. Steve Goodson: (33:43) That's awesome. That's great. Raquel Painter: (33:45) Yeah. So we, um, distributed, um, over $230,000 back into the community to help with Hurricane Florence recovery efforts. And $181,000 of them went to our partner agencies. Steve Goodson: (33:58) That's great. That's great. Well, let's just, we're talking about money. We're talking about funds. So that's a great transition into this coming week or next week, I guess you'd say based on what Dorian does. You guys are supposed to be having your annual kickoff luncheon next week where you guys will reveal your campaign goals, and that's your big kind of launch leading into how you fund these agencies the following year. So give our listeners a little bit of information. Now, remember we're recording today. I think it's the what, September 4th. I don't know we'll get this out before you're event, but just talk, I guess in generalities about the event last year was your first year, you know, launching it at being a part of it, but just kind of talk about that, the atmosphere and about the maybe the mood it sets kind of going into the, into the year. Raquel Painter: (34:50) Okay. So the um, campaign luncheon is actually our biggest event of the year. You know, this is where we, um, put out what our campaign is, you know, what are we using the funds or what our focus efforts are gonna be. Um, and this year it really was going to focus on what we did last year during Hurricane Florence. But now you're, like you said, Steve, we're on top of another hurricane. So, um, we're really wanna just focus on letting the people know what United Way best for the community, not on the day to day basis, but on the out of ordinary stuff that comes up just like the hurricane does. But get the word out there. Let people know that that campaign exists, but most importantly that if they want to hold a campaign, just contact United Way. Be Glad to go out to the businesses and let them know what United Way is all about and how they could become part of the United Way family just by holding a workplace campaign. Steve Goodson: (35:48) Cool. You guys are doing some really awesome work. I hope your work after the next couple of days in our community is minimal. I hope that we don't have to do a lot of things over the next couple of days. We'll see how that shakes out and I'll make you this promise that if we have another hurricane after this one next year, and you're the executive director or president, CEO of United Way, I'm going to have a talk to your bosses on the board because you are bringing Jenks to.....I'm, I'm just, I'm just joking, but again, seriously, thank you so much for what you guys do, United Way of Onslow County. Thank you for just being an active participant in our community. Raquel Painter: (36:30) Yes, thank you, Steve. Thanks for having me. Steve Goodson: (36:33) Well, folks, that'll do it for this episode of Flippin' the Switch. Until next time, if you don't currently follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or any of our other social media channels, consider doing so. It's the best way to keep informed about what's going on with your cooperative. Thanks again. Speaker 1: (36:50) Music