Southside Presbyterian received a new solar hot water system through the TFS solar grant program, which is self-funded through a percentage of our annual profits. The solar hot water system enhances the organization’s commitment to environmental sustainability, green building, and renewable energy. TFS was proud to be able to donate a solar water heater for Southside’s Shower Program, which reflects values of positive social and environmental change. This humanitarian program provides a host of services to individuals in need including: a hot shower, shave, haircut, a warm meal, and a place to wash and receive clothing. Furthermore, the Shower Program is the main contributor to their on-site compost bins. The compost is used in their garden, which contributes fresh food to their meal service.

Many of Southside’s actions reflect their sustainable values. In a response to climate change and global warming, they formed an ECO Committee to learn, educate, and take action in the area of environmental sustainability. For instance, bio-friendly products are used for the congregation potlucks, and their weekly bulletin contains suggestions for moving toward more sustainable living at home. Members of the congregation participate in Southside’s energy and water use audits, so that all members are able to duplicate these actions in their own homes. Also, the landscaping at Southside consists of native vegetation and utilizes rainwater harvesting in its design.

"We're excited and honored to be the recipient of TFS’s solar grant," said Anne Gooden, a spokesperson for Southside Presbyterian. "Our shower program was one of our biggest uses of electricity. Installing this solar hot water system for our Shower Program helps us achieve our goal of fostering a more sustainable community. Not only do we improve our own energy practices, it helps us continue to educate members of our church and the greater community.”

At a time when many organizations are struggling economically, Southside’s new solar hot water system will help control energy consumption, and reduce operational costs. TFS awarded the full grant to Southside Presbyterian because of their extensive work in support of sustainability and the disenfranchised members of the Tucson community. We are proud to support the efforts of Southside Presbyterian. This organization is a great example of a local organization that is ‘practicing what they preach,’ by caring not only for the planet but the people who live in their community.