Second Wind Cottages

Sometimes there are acts of generosity that are so inspiring they develop their own force field – drawing in others to amplify the original intention of making the world just a little better. The story of the seventh Climate Fund grant of $3,457 to the Second Wind cottages in Newfield is about the intersection of two such force fields.

In the summer of 2013, an anonymous donor approached Sustainable Tompkins with the idea of creating a Sustainable Newfield fund where people concerned about climate disruption could donate money to help lower-income residents in Newfield make their homes more efficient and less dependent on fossil fuel. Other donors have since joined in to help with this mission of slowing climate impacts by helping those least able to afford rising energy bills.

Their generosity intersected with that of the Community Faith Partners when one of their members approached us about the possibility of applying for a climate fund grant to help pay for the insulation of six cottages they are building on donated land in Newfield. The cottages are to house homeless men, and make up the new Second Wind project – – the brainchild of Carmen Guidi, a local business owner whose faith led him to devote himself to healing the wound of homelessness by providing homes to those living in the “Jungle” near Ithaca. Carmen’s generosity and vision quickly drew in others from area churches and a beautiful and expanding circle of generosity has been growing ever since. (Readers can enjoy the full history of the project by visiting SecondWindCottages.org.)

Snug Planet, one of our area’s leading green businesses, played a key role in this web of generosity. Our $3457 carbon offset grant was enough to pay for most of the insulation materials for the six cottages at Second Wind, but Snug Planet stepped up to donate the rest of the materials and to provide their skilled workforce to supervise the insulating and air sealing process.