AHIP helps provide Esmont family with new heating system

ESMONT, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A family in Esmont received a new heating system for their home from Beck Cohen at the end of the week, thanks to a partnership between AHIP, a local nonprofit that focuses on home repair, and the Department of Social Services.

Laura Thacker, one of the homeowners, said she grew up in the house with her family.

Thacker's home was built in 1898, and she says it is full of memories and love.

"We let go of a house," said Thacker. "Everyone said, 'I can't believe you're doing that.' But, I mean, this is where my mom and dad were and this is where I took care of my mother and father until the day they died."

Thacker moved back into the house with her husband, but the house didn't have a heating system to keep every room in the house warm.

She said they had to stay in the living room to keep warm next to their gas and electrical heaters.

"We had these heaters going and then we had this on full blast, so we bought gas every two days and then we had blankets," said Thacker.

The Thacker's problem of staying warm would soon be solved thanks to a partnership with AHIP.

The Albemarle County Department of Social Services referred the Thacker's to AHIP, where they were able to get a new heating system from Beck Cohen installed in their basement by Friday.

Jennifer Jacobs, executive director of AHIP, said this situation is something the community needs to be aware of.

"When you drive by a house, you don't know if the people inside might be freezing or that their water might not have been available or they might not have access to the water," said Jacobs.

With the new installation, Thacker said she's blessed to stay in the house where she grew up and create more memories.

"This is where my parents are and if there's any way possible, this is where I'm going to stay until the day I pass," said Thacker. "I feel very blessed."

This is the second year of the partnership, through which Beck Cohen donates two free heating and cooling systems and lower costs for 10 projects to help families waiting for AHIP's help.

Throughout December and January, AHIP received 18 calls for help with heat, of which nine were referrals from DSS.

There's a seasonal DSS Crisis Heating Program, which runs through April 25, 2019, that provides up to $2,500 toward each heating installation and repair.

Donations to AHIP will be matched with these funds.

If you would like to donate, you can visit the link in the Related Links box.

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