AFTON, Va. (WVIR) - A family in Afton will keep cool for the summer in their home thanks to a partnership between a Charlottesville business and a central Virginia nonprofit that’s raising funds to help more homeowners.
A crew from Beck Cohen replaced a 20-year-old HVAC system at the Hodges family’s home on Tuesday, June 2. A partnership between the Charlottesville company and Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP) allows for the upgrade.
“For the families that we help, they’re living on the edge or grappling with low-wage jobs or fixed incomes, and they just don’t have the resources to do it. So, they get by. They get by with fans or space heaters or faulty systems that just don’t keep them cool or keep them warm. So, our job is to go out there and fix that,” AHIP Executive Director Jennifer Jacobs said.
The system would cost the Hodges more than $7,200. Beck Cohen provided it to the nonprofit for about a third of the cost.
“This becomes a big part of our rehabs. This becomes a way for us to help more people. This becomes a way for us to make sure people are safe and warm and dry or cool in the summer,” Jacobs said.
AHIP is launching an end of fiscal year Safe at Home fundraising campaign with a dollar-for-dollar match to help make up for cuts brought by the financial crisis created in connection with COVID-19 pandemic. The program is trying to raise $100,000 by the end of June.
“We saw a massive $500,000 cut from a local budget, which is going to impact us greatly. So part of the purpose of this match is to make up some of that and keep us going strong as we head into summer,” Jacobs said.
The nonprofit’s work at the Hodges house won’t stop with the new heating and cooling system. Crews will also be making other improvements to allow the family to afford to stay comfortably in their home.
“It’s a really good feeling knowing you can give back to your community after someone works really hard for what they have,” Beck Cohen lead installer Kevin McAvoy said.
To donate to the “Safe at Home" campaign, click here.