“I fell in love with this city because of EnergyCare.”

Steve Baer is an EnergyCare volunteer, an Angel in Action donor, and former EnergyCare staff member. In January 2015, he spoke with EnergyCare development assistant Justine Collum about his connection to EnergyCare over the years.

In January 2007, Steve Baer was a high school senior in need of a service project to fulfill his graduation requirements at St. Louis University High School. As he flipped through the catalog of organizations he had to choose from, EnergyCare stood out to him as “a unique organization that provided a much-needed service to people at-risk.”

Steve’s volunteer experience with EnergyCare inspired him. He became an EnergyCare employee, coming to work for us seasonally for the next four years. “In the winter, we installed weatherization material and delivered space heaters and blankets for elderly, homebound individuals and families with small children. In the summer, we delivered and installed window unit air conditioners.”

One of Steve’s most memorable moments working with EnergyCare was when he weatherized the home of a grieving mother. “As we worked, she bravely told us about herself, her family, and the son she so recently had lost.” What Steve remembers most about the people he served in his time at EnergyCare was their gratitude. “So many people who were so in need of help were grateful just to have someone visit them, listen to them, and bring them something as simple as an air conditioner… It was inspiring.”

I asked Steve how he has seen EnergyCare grow over the last 8 years. Steve said “I have seen the organization grow in its impact on the community…” through increased goals and helping more people each year. He also mentioned the dedication of the EnergyCare Board of Directors to our mission. Steve’s dream for EnergyCare’s future? “It is my hope that the mission of EnergyCare can be spread throughout the community so that people know who they can go to for help. Also, more widespread awareness of this issue will inform potential donors of the drastic difference they can make on the quality of life of a young family or an elderly couple.” He also hopes that more young people will get involved in furthering EnergyCare’s mission.

Now for the big question: Steve hasn’t worked at EnergyCare for years, and his high school service project days are long since over. Why stay involved after so long? “EnergyCare showed me what it’s like to work on the front lines of a nonprofit organization… Most importantly, I witnessed firsthand the effect that EnergyCare has on the lives of people in need in our community. It is extremely important to me that EnergyCare continues its everyday mission of helping people in need and continues to motivate people to help the cause.” He goes on to say “I fell in love with this city because of EnergyCare. Working with an inspiring staff and helping a wide range of clients from all backgrounds in all parts of St. Louis was eye-opening and gratifying and helped me learn how to relate with people on a deeper level. I will continue to support EnergyCare because of the good work it does every day of the year.”

Thank you, Steve, for everything you’ve done for EnergyCare and the people we serve! Cheers to our future together!

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