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Drury SIFE Team Lights Up Local Non-Profits

A Drury University student economic team is using a grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to brighten up a few non-profit organizations around Springfield. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE, is a student organization that teaches local businesses to look at cost efficient projects, discuss business ethics and create economic opportunities.

SIFE received a $20,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks in November 2008 to help fund energy efficient projects around Springfield.

SIFE members decided the most cost efficient and energy efficient project was installing new lights in non-profit groups’ buildings.

Josh Jones, director of SIFE, says they have already installed new lights at the Arc of the Ozarks, Victory Mission, and most recently the Kitchen.

“The Kitchen, their project, is approximately $9,350 and this paying for the installation of over 225 fixtures, which is over 850 bulbs, and then all the labor that is associated with that," Jones said.

Jones says SIFE funds the lighting project and then the Kitchen repays SIFE with the energy efficient rebate from City Utilities.

He says the new lights will save the Kitchen $3,500 annually and they should be able to pay SIFE back in two years.

Jones says after the Kitchen pays their loan to SIFE, the non-profit will keep their annual rebate from City Utilities.

He says SIFE is talking with other non-profits about installing energy efficient lights.“We do have plans for working with other non-profits. We currently have a few other non-profits that have been in contact with City Utilities and they’ve received their energy audit, so we’re sort of in the initial phases of discussing the process, going over to their building and doing a walk through,” Jones said.

Jones says this grant helps the environment as well as the Kitchen’s utility bills.

“We saw this as an opportunity to serve the non-profits that are out there day in and day out serving these high need constituents. And so, by us being able to help them, it will in turn improve their ability and their services to be able to help those in our community that are in need,” Jones said.

Jones says SIFE will continue funding more energy efficient projects when they get their rebates back.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.