A little light can make a big difference.

Take the solar-powered security light that NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania installed for free at Joe McDonnell’s home in Scranton.

McDonnell wouldn’t call it a “security” light: A 91-year-old World War II vet with a firm handshake, he’s not scared of much. But he likes having it there all the same.

“It’s a good thing,” says McDonnell, a resident of the Marvine Patch neighborhood in north Scranton. “It’s a big help if I’m going out to the car and back. If I want to talk to somebody in my yard, it’s there.”

(Pictured: McDonnell, at right, chats at his home with Todd Pousley of NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania.)

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania has installed more than 125 of the lights through a program called Light The Town. Light The Town is just one of a range of homeownership support services the nonprofit agency provides to Lackawanna County residents, ranging from home rehabilitation to financing.

The exterior lights provide extra safety and security. They don’t affect homeowners’ electric bills, since they’re solar-powered. And they’re available to any county resident, not just Scrantonians. (Renters need the property owner’s written consent.)

We think people like Joe McDonnell deserve a little light.

That’s why the PPL Foundation gave NeighborWorks a $2,500 grant earlier this year – part of a total of $450,000 in grants awarded to nonprofit agencies across central and eastern Pennsylvania. PPL’s financial support helps NeighborWorks buy the lights, which are then installed by volunteers.

We’ve backed the program financially for two years now. It’s just one way we try to help the communities where we live and work.

“PPL has been very supportive of the program from the outset. It’s really a collaborative project with PPL, and one that probably wouldn’t exist without their financial support,” said Todd Pousley, community revitalization manager for NeighborWorks of Northeastern Pennsylvania.