Alternative Winter Break 2016 Post A Real Impact – Yoni Holtz

By Sharon Schoenfeld
Yoni (4th from right) with AWB friends and the recipients of a new garden

As a senior, this is my fourth, and final AWB (3 times in New Orleans, and once in LA). Today we worked with Green Light New Orleans, which has been my favorite organization to work with throughout my 4 years with AWB. Green Light began with a musician’s desire to make the city of New Orleans more energy efficient. In the ten years since its beginning it has installed energy efficient light bulbs in 27,000 homes in the city (an enormous 560,000 light bulbs!). Not only that, but Green Light also installs small vegetable gardens in prospective home gardeners’ yards. This helps people save money and have a convenient source of healthy food. Today we both installed gardens and changed light bulbs. It was amazing to meet and talk to the people we were working for. The woman for whom we installed a garden was really appreciative, and had long conversations with us about Young Judaea while we worked (we also wished her a happy birthday, as today was her birthday). What has made this an amazing organization to work with has been the impact that I feel that I can truly see. When I can see the people that I’m working for, it really feels like I’ve done something important. Since I’ve done this for a few years, the collective impact that Green Light has made as an organization has felt REAL. Green Light New Orleans has allowed me to feel as if I’m making a real impact during my years on AWB.

~ Yoni Holtz is a 12th grader from White Plains, NY and this is his 4th AWB. 

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