To qualify, Karen Smith, co-owner of PHA, says the contest criteria hinges on the home, not the individual. One’s income or job status, or lack thereof, are not factors. The candidate must own their home, however, and the home must have an existing duct system in place. Beginning November 1, brief essays about the applicant’s life will be accepted, after which five finalists will be selected. The winner will be chosen during a random drawing on December 14, 2012 on Xtra99.1’s airwaves, assisted by Neal Steele, the station’s celebrity rush-hour DJ.
The Pliums, a diverse family of 15, were the first winners of Project Comfort and Joy. Imagine the energy costs for such a household! Obviously, the size of their Pliums’ hearts exceeded their concern for household expenses when they decided to adopt 10 children, some with special needs. But since 2007, the Pliums have been enjoying the comfort and efficiency of their York heat pump system. And, as often is the case, goodwill begat goodwill. When PHA removed the Plium’s existing, still-operable unit, it was donated and reinstalled at another family member’s home.
The Montagues, a loving, retired couple, were also fortunate recipients of Project Comfort and Joy. Once thriving business owners, their world was turned upside down when Mr. Montague became partially blind. They were forced to confront many challenges, including going without a reliable heating and cooling system. Thanks to Project Comfort and Joy, the Montagues are now living life a lot more comfortably.
The Shoeners, last year’s winner, are a classic representation of the all-American family. Their modest home shelters an industrious, hardworking dad, three school-aged children and a mom who is in determined pursuit of earning a nursing degree. For those who have raised a family, making ends meet is a familiar and often endless challenge, particularly when the home’s comfort system is a clunker! The Shoener’s power bills provided monthly reminders that
the heating system was past its prime.
But thanks to PHA’s professional installation of a new York heat pump system, there’s a lot more wiggle-room in their household budget as their power bills are significantly lower and their home a lot warmer.
For PHA’s staff, the heartfelt compositions received each year about the applicants’ lives are an exercise in humility and serve as a timely Christmas reminder of the generosity and goodness of the common man. According to Karen, the candidates share many endearing qualities, including that they feel undeserving of the wonderful grand prize. Some, despite clear evidence of need, insist they should not be nominated at all.