ALBEMARLE COUNTY, V.A. (WVIR) - One Scottsville family is going to spend Christmas in a warm home thanks to a new unit from the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) and a Charlottesville company.
When the temperatures dip, families like the Abshire's will be warm. It's thanks to the second year of AHIP's partnership with Charlottesville's Beck Cohen.
"Not knowing if your heat is going to be on when you wake up for Christmas is scary and being able to fix that for people is amazing,” Beck Cohen Sales Manager Brian Donovan said. "It’s a big-ticket item for a lot of people so it’s just one of those things where once it’s out of the way it’s a huge weight lifted off the shoulders "
Scottsville Supervisor Elect Donna Price is ready to support AHIP when she takes office in the New Year. "This is what we need to do for the entire rural areas of our county not just the Scottsville District but also our other districts that have these rural components so it means a lot and its things that we need to continue to do to bring services to the rural areas."
Rivanna District Supervisor Elect Bea LaPisto Kirtley is right behind her. "We as a board of supervisors continue to help those companies who are doing good for the community who are helping those in need."
The holiday season is a reminder of all the giving back happening year-round in Albemarle County.
"This is a good example of showing people how people in Albemarle care not just during the holiday season but all year,” LaPisto Kirtley said.
AHIP’s work with the family is not over. The group will be coming back to rebuild the Abshire’s deck.
12/23/2019 AHIP & Beck Cohen Press Release:
Charlottesville, VA – Natasha Abshire and her husband, Jessie, have been struggling with their 22-year-old inefficient heat pump. Today, Monday, Dec. 23, Beck Cohen has come to their rescue with a new Lennox heat pump that will keep them and their four school-aged children warm this winter and beyond.
“It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give the gift of a new heater and keep families warm and comfortable in their homes,” Brian Donovan, Beck Cohen residential sales manager, said. “As a company, Beck Cohen is committed to lending a hand to neighbors who need it most.”
This is the second year Beck Cohen has partnered with AHIP on its Community Comfort Program to directly help homeowners in need in greater Charlottesville—in 2019, Beck Cohen has helped 9 county families and 6 city families with discounted or completely donated HVAC units as well as discounts on monthly service calls. Beck Cohen has worked with its Lennox distributor in Charlottesville and the Shenandoah Valley area to install all units for AHIP client families in 2018 and 2019. Including the Abshire and Cerceo families who have both been helped in December, Beck Cohen’s investment this year is $85,000!
Abshire purchased the family home in 2006. In addition to raising her children, during the day she takes care of her father-in-law who suffers from Alzheimer’s. The family recently received a monthly electric bill that was more than $300, because the existing system only operated in emergency mode. The new 14-seer, high-efficiency 2-ton Lennox heat pump will provide heat for the long term.
“Everyone should have functioning heat when they need it, and Beck Cohen has been a lifesaver in making that happen for many seniors and working families in our community,” Jennifer Jacobs, AHIP executive director, said. “We are tremendously grateful that they are our partners in this work.”
AHIP typically receives 10-15 calls each week from local homeowners without adequate heating and air conditioning or struggling with other deficiencies and hazards. Right now, there are more than 400 families in Charlottesville and Albemarle on AHIP’s waiting list for critical home repairs.
A special holiday donor match challenge is underway to reach more families in need. Two local donors have joined forces to donate $60,000 to the home repair nonprofit with a challenge to the community to join them in contributing another $60,000 to keep community home repair strong. Visit www.ahipva.org to donate or learn more.