Lawton_Braving a winter without heat can be a miserable experience, but two fewer Lawton families will have to do that because of the kindness and generosity of many local people.
A few months ago, we announced 7NEWS was teaming up with Pippin Brothers for "Heat for the Holidays" and gave you a chance to write in and nominate deserving individuals for the chance to have a new heater installed. The response was so overwhelming 2 were chosen. At both homes the project became much more complicated, but our community came through.
Aileen Hennessee and the two great-grandchildren under her care are staying toasty warm this winter with a new heating system, but that's not all she has received.
"Complete makeover. Just, kind of like an extreme makeover. I have never had central heat or air here. It's always been floor furnace or something else. They had to come in and do a complete job and they have all just been fantastic," Hennessee said.
What originally started out as a simple installation of a heating system turned into a $20,000 undertaking.
But, it's the time of year to give and people stepped up by donating to Hennessee supplies and time including an electrical upgrade by Pat Rooney, free energy auditing by Russell Philpott that qualified her for the PSO program, equipment donations by Barnett, and three days worth of labor by 10 pippin employees.
"All I had to do was ask and they all came," said Mark Pippin.
"It makes me feel all warm inside and they should all be honored. If I had enough, I would give them a special honor myself but that's all I can do is give them a special thank you," said Hennessee.
Tracy McNitt, who donated his time and state-of-the-art supplies to provide Hennessee with a larger attic access, says he was happy to help
"It feels good. It feels really good. You know, it's a moving experience," said McNitt.
Shelly Golden and her youngest daughter that lives with her, Savannah, are also lucky heating recipients.
"My daughter told me, she said, 'It's freezing outside.' I said, 'Really?' I haven't been out. It's nice and warm in here!" said Golden.
A big change from the system she had before.
"That one, you just turn it up and hope and pray, you know? But most of the time, if it got above 60, we were lucky."
Their home has been outfitted with central heat and air after electrical work, new insulation in the attic, duct work, a new hot water heater, and free energy auditing for the PSO program as well....all totaling over $12,000.
"It's been great it's been a blessing. It's something I wouldn't have been able to afford myself and no one could afford to give to me...you know, so...it's the best present I could've received for Christmas," Golden said.