Solar energy has positive impacts on a variety of different fronts. For most solar adopters, a combination of sustainability and environmental concerns, increased energy security, and desire to pay less for power are at the top of their list of reasons for choosing solar energy. But solar power can also provide a larger social good than merely mitigating our impact on the environment.
A recent project we worked on for a local non-profit is a great case study for solar’s social impact.
The Police Athletic League of Kansas City, Kansas has been investing its efforts into the local community for 70 years. Part of a nationwide non-profit program, their mission is to foster stronger relationships between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve through a combination of academic, cultural, mentoring, and sports programs. The PAL facility also functions as a community center and space for events and educational opportunities that help the community grow together.
The organization notes that “Each of us can remember that one coach, mentor, teacher or adult who took the extra time to invest in us. This is at the heart of the PAL KCK mission, to be worthy role models for young people growing up in our city today.” By keeping kids engaged and involved in their neighborhood, PAL provides a positive outlet and broad impact. It’s a mission that has helped revitalize the community and make it a safer, friendlier, and more prosperous part of Kansas City.
Shaping the Future, Sustainably
In 2019, PAL KCK moved into an historic church in the downtown area, turning the former house of worship into a community center and the base of the organization’s efforts in the community. This move required substantial changes to the facility - notably, the pews were removed to make space for a boxing gym where police officers teach and mentor students up through high school on discipline, physical fitness, and personal strength.
In addition, the church’s old rectory house was torn down to make room for an urban farm, where the community is raising crops, chicken, and even bees under the guidance of a retired teacher. Sustainability is an important goal for the organization, as it both enables more programming and engagement and also helps the community thrive into the future.
When Solar Design Studio heard about the inspiring work that PAL KCK was doing in our city, we were immediately interested in becoming involved and adding to the organization’s impact.
Solar’s Positive Impact
Having already witnessed the positive impact of solar installation on low-income multi-family housing units that allow residents to pay less for sustainable power, we knew that solar could help PAL lower energy costs and widen its reach. When non-profit organizations are able to lower their overhead costs by embracing solar energy, the money they save can be diverted back into their programming and allow them to serve their communities even more fully.
So, we partnered with PAL KCK to install a solar array on their new home in St. Mary’s church. Through community effort, volunteer engagement, and providing the necessary technology and installation at a discount, we were able to set up PAL to receive all the benefits of solar energy at a very low cost to the organization.
PAL Executive Director Matt Tomasic says, “When I think about what solar and our relationship with Solar Design Studio gives us, it’s not only the financial benefit so we can spend those dollars where they’re most effective, which is programming for kids, it also emphasizes that PAL is a forward-thinking organization that wants to be part of creating solutions. It’s another opportunity to promote sustainability in this community.”
At Solar Design Studio, we believe in the power of solar to make a difference in the world. Whether your goals are to save money on utility bills, increase your energy security, or lessen your impact on the environment, we’re here to ensure that your solar project provides the maximum return on your investment and the maximum good.
Contact us today to learn more!