Supporting FISH of Greater New Haven
Members of our team (not all pictured) volunteered last Saturday to deliver Turkey Dinners to FISH's clients.
Every holiday season, our team here at SERVPRO of Branford/Shoreline chooses a local charity or non-profit to support. This year, we’ve chosen FISH of Greater New Haven!
What Does FISH Do?
FISH’s mission is to provide hope and groceries to our homebound neighbors in Greater New Haven. FISH delivers free bags of nutritionally sound groceries to households which are unable to access walk-in or mobile pantries due to disability, age, or other mobility impediments and cannot afford an adequate supply of food. FISH is the only agency in the area to deliver free food directly to clients’ front doors!
A Few Facts About Fish:
- FISH is a pantry that delivers to 545 households each month, representing over 900 individuals.
- On average, they purchase one bag of groceries for a little more than $9.00.
- They have been serving needy families and individuals in the New Haven area for over 50 years.
- Volunteers help keep FISH going - Packing and delivering food bags for their clients.
How Can You Help FISH?
- Deliver Groceries. Volunteers can sign up to deliver a short run of groceries with drop offs located in close proximity to each other. Weekly, biweekly, or monthly opportunities are available.
- Pantry Volunteers. You can volunteer in their pantry, stocking shelves, unloading the delivery truck, or packing food bags.
- Office Volunteers. Needed for cleaning and maintaining the FISH donor database, producing newsletter, and working with Constant Contact.
- Donate to SERVPRO #TEAMLUCIANI’s Food and Donation Drive!
Interested in volunteering with FISH? Learn more here!
SERVPRO Donation Drive For FISH of Greater New Haven
To help support FISH and their mission, we’ve organized a non-perishable food donation drive, as well as a GoFundMe page for monetary donations (Link here!)
Donations can be dropped off at our main office located at 150 Bradley Street, East Haven CT 06512, or picked up by request by calling or texting Mariah Miklus at 203-610-9633.
Needed food donations include:
- Boxes of Cereal (Low Sugar)
- Canned Vegetables (Low Sodium)
- Canned Fruit
- Shelf-Stable Milk (1%, 2% or Reduced Fat)
- Soup (canned or dry) (Please No Ramen)
- Rice (brown preferred, or other dry grains)
- Canned Stew
- Beans (Black, Lentil, Kidney etc.)
- Nuts (Almonds, Pecans, Peanuts, Walnuts etc, unsalted)
- Oatmeal (Rolled Oats, Steel Cut, or Old Fashioned)
- Peanut Butter and Jelly (Reduced Sugar)
- Instant potatoes
- Instant milk
- Fruit snacks
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Pasta (Whole Wheat, Sprouted-Grain, Quinoa, or Gluten Free)
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Coffee (Instant or Ground)
Want More Info on Our Donation Drive? Call Us at 800-734-3213!
First Annual Coat Drive at SERVPRO of Branford
In all, we were able to donate 13 boxes of winter coats to the New Haven and Meriden, CT area!
This year, SERVPRO of Branford started its first annual coat drive for homeless shelters in our area!
On our very first year, we exceeded our monetary goal of $500 and we were able to collect over 80 coats. All together, using the monetary donations and the physical donations, we were able to donate 120 coats to local shelters in the Meriden and New Haven, Connecticut area! Donations ranged from children's coats to both men and women's jackets.
The contributions we received this year were absolutely amazing. Thank you to all of our generous donors for contributing to our first annual coat drive!
If you missed out on donating - no worries! We will be sure to get the word out for our second annual coat drive next year.
But, we don't have to wait for a coat drive to be charitable! Call your local shelters and see what they need and are accepting as donations if you have extra clothes or toiletries!
Positive Side of Disasters Is That You Get To Redecorate!
SERVPRO of Branford - Positive Side of Disasters in CT
In the midst of a fire damage restoration or flood damage restoration project, your mind is reeling with all the fears, worries, and expenses of having to replace your destroyed and damaged stuff, but making lemons into lemonade is a part of our lives, and thinking on the positive side of bad things that just happen sometimes, is the key to being happy and peaceful in this life. During a fire and flood, it can be hard to think beyond the moment, so this is a positive post to help you think about the next steps of your process of repairing your house after a fire. You get to redecorate! This is a unique opportunity for you to choose your color palette, buy some new stuff to decorate your home with your own individual style, and introduce some new style tastes, textures, patterns, colors, knickknacks, etc that you have seen and appreciated.
While SERVPRO is cleaning and restoring your home back to intact to protect you from the elements outside, you can be coming up with your plans for what to do to get organized, design and beautify your new rooms.
Here are some questions to incorporate into your disaster repair home restoration project…
1) What are your favorite styles? Look online, go to the local mall, flip through magazines, daydream about the things you like and select a few things that you really love to become the focal pieces of your new style. Don’t think about what they would look like together. The key to decorating is to love what you have around you, and if you love the items, designing to tie them all together is the easy part. Choose 3 things from stuff you are keeping and or new stuff that you want in this room you are planning to decorate.
2) Now that you have had fun window shopping and choosing your 3 favorite things to incorporate into your new decorating “theme,” evaluate the items together. What makes you excited about each item individually? What do the 3 items have in common? Is there a color of wood or metal similar between 2 of them? Is there a complementary color scheme that just feels good to you? Pull that out to use it for your decorating style in other aspects of the room. If you are buying furniture, buy at least one piece of furniture that is amazing to you, that you love and you can make it the focus of the room. For example, in designing a home office, you can get a desk that you love and make it the design focus for that room, making it so that love being there.
3) Let’s say they all have bronze metal or a color blue (even if they don’t match perfectly) somewhere in them, then you can paint one wall that color or use a faux painting effect to give that one wall depth as a focal point. All walls the same color is a very common thing for people to do, but the most gorgeous rooms aren’t all the same everywhere. They have different things working well together.
4) Choose something textured for a wall decoration that has some depth to it, hang a large painting that has mixed media design elements, and hang 2 sconces you love on either side of it. This wall just became AMAZING! By making the one wall a focal point, you have already made the room look bigger with visual effects.
5) Ok, so now you have your entire design already flowing into a room that looks like you paid thousands for a Decorator to come in and do it for you! Now, choose a calming soothing peaceful neutral color for the other walls tying together whatever the furniture and other items you are going to have in this room have in common. Taupes, burgundy’s deep, rich colors give the room a more elegant mood, while lighter colors give the room a more spacious feel. This focus for this part of the design is to make it feel more like you are being snuggled up in a warm blanket.
6) You can go to the local hardware store and purchase the paints other people rejected to get them on discount. The colors are pretty, they just weren’t an exact match for the picky people. There’s a selection to choose from, and you can likely find a great neutral color from the local stores leftovers getting it for a great price, to save money.
7) If you want a rug, the advice decorators give is to have the rug big enough to have every piece of furniture partly or all on the rug so that the edges of the rug are tied into the room well leaving about 9-12” as a sort of border seems to be the best effect. You can still use a rug for decorating with hardwood floors or carpeting, and it protects your floors carpet too, keeping them cleaner and nicer longer.
8) When designing the layout of the items within the room, the best way to think about it is by thinking of what naturally occurs in the room. If it is a living room, congregation and socialization is the key, bringing people together. Curving pieces thinking of a circle or aligning the furniture within a box in the letter H so that the seats are facing each other is the best advice for this. Use straight lines as a design element. Kitchens and dining rooms are other congregation areas that should be thought of similarly. When people come over, where do they tend to linger and hang out? Set your home up so that they can do as they already want to. This will make people feel more comfortable and relaxed, and that will even get more compliments! Plus, cleaning up daily is easier when you aren’t constantly rearranging things because they aren’t in their naturally proper spots where they can both live and work without being moved around. Bedrooms main focus should be sleeping. Some people like to watch tv in bed, and if that’s your thing, then position the furniture so that it functions well together for your comfort. The office den and play areas of the home should similarly be functionally set up to be efficient for what you need them to be so that stuff stays where it starts and is easy for you and the people who live in the home to just live life and do your daily life without much effort. If you use your desk to collect mail and pay bills, then set it up so that it is efficient for doing so. That becomes the focus of that part of that room.
9) The next thing to think about is lighting effects. Layering lighting provides ambiance, so you can highlight your 3 focal point items with lighting effects. That is an easy and awesome decorating tip!
10) Once it is time to start painting, if you are doing it yourself, have a painting party with your friends and family and provide cheese and crackers and a beverage in a big carafe. Hosting an event is a million times more fun that doing it alone and the workload gets lighter when more people are around even when some people don’t actually do any work, others will be helping you, and the overall socialization aspect will give you a great memory of this time to replace the negative emotions with positives.
We know how hard it is to go through disaster remediation and repair your house after a fire or after a flood. Hopefully these ideas will give you something wonderful to plan for and to remember us by after we help you get your life back on track, get your home restored after emergency home repairs, “Like it never even happened.”
Tips for Preventing Air Conditioner Water Damage
SERVPRO of Branford / Shoreline - Tips for Preventing Air Conditioner Water Damage in Branford CT
Most homeowners who enjoy cool and comfortable temperatures indoors throughout summer (thanks to their air conditioning system) don't realize that air conditioners can sometimes cause water damage, if not properly maintained. When working at peak efficiency, an air conditioner can collect 10 to 20 gallons of water daily. Ideally, this water drains off of the condensation coil into a collection pan and then is disposed of automatically into the sewer system. However, if the drain becomes clogged, and the unit produces more water than it can easily handle, the overflow of water can lead to damaged floors and carpeting, in addition to creating unhealthy deposits of mold.
A clogged drain line is often a major source of creating water damage, but other causes include excessive condensation that occurs when the unit is running around the clock, in addition to evaporator coils that may freeze up and then defrost on a regular basis. Because most of the unit is typically hidden from view, unless regular inspections take place, water damage can be occurring on a daily basis and accumulating into hundreds of dollars worth of damage.
One of the best ways to avoid air conditioner water damage is to change the HVAC air filter at least once a month. This gives a homeowner the opportunity to observe whether or not there is excessive moisture collecting on the condensation line. Ensuring that an AC unit has clean air filters also helps prevent the unit from overworking, a situation that causes freezing and then defrosting on the evaporator coils, leading to water damage. It's also important to regularly check to see that water is indeed flowing from the opening of the condensation line directly to the drain as it was designed to do, especially during periods of very high humidity in the atmosphere.
When installing an A/C condensation line, avoid using elbow connections if possible and have the line run in as straight a vertical direction as possible to facilitate water removal from the unit. It's a good idea to get a professional air conditioning repair service to clean the condensation line at least once a year or every six months if the AC system is used on a year-round basis. A professional plumbing service can also install a condensation pump to help ensure the free flow of excess water into the proper disposal drain. A repair technician may recommend installing a device known as a safety float switch, which will automatically shut down the power to an A/C unit whenever condensation builds up and there is a danger of water overflow.
Professional maintenance of your HVAC unit on an annual basis can also help to prevent water damage by checking the air filter, the condition of the condensation line, as well as the drains to eliminate any blockage, or other problems. Ask about having your air conditioner service technician apply an algaecide to your system to discourage build-up of debris in the drain lines in addition to prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which can spread throughout the HVAC system and pollute the air throughout the house.
Enjoy better efficiency and cooler air flow indoors throughout summer by following the steps above to ensure you get the most out of your HVAC and air conditioning units.