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Partnership in Albemarle County Donates Heat Pump to Family in Need

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The Thatchers haven't had heat in their home since 2006 The Thatchers haven't had heat in their home since 2006
The family will now be able to sleep comfortably for the rest of winter The family will now be able to sleep comfortably for the rest of winter
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

It’s been a very cold winter, and a family living is Esmont has been living without central heat.

Now, they will be able to stay warm for the rest of winter thanks to the generosity of the community.

Laura Thacker and her husband have been getting by with gas and electric space heaters, but now they have a new heat pump to make up for all those chilly nights.

"It is cold, and especially the days it was really, really cold outside, we were, like, bundled up," Thacker said.

The Thacker family has not had heat for years since Laura's father died in 2006.

Now, that's about to change with the help from Albemarle County Social Services and Albemarle Housing Improvement (AHIP).

"Being able to provide people with safe heating and replace their old, worn-out systems is a partnership between AHIP and social services - Albemarle and Charlottesville, they have a special program called the Heating Crisis Program," Jane Andrews of AHIP said.

Lennox Industries donated a heat pump, and the $7,000 project is being installed by Beck Cohen.

"All of us - the guys doing the installation, us in the office - it was a really good feeling,” Robert Puonomo, who is someone, said. “We weren't expecting it to be so fulfilling."

The Thackers have been sleeping on living room recliners and bundled up under blankets and it was causing back pain.

"It's uncomfortable, yeah, for me, because my husband has an automatic recliner, but I just have a regular recliner,” Thacker said. “But I slept in it so long the wood has gotten so it's in my back."

Thacker says over the years she's learned to survive, but is thankful warmth is on the way.

"I just feel very blessed," Thacker said.

"It never gets old, and I never get tired of being able to say we were able to help improve someone's life,” Andrews said.

Lennox will donate a dozen heat pumps to Charlottesville and Albemarle County families this year.