De-serv-ing – Worthy of being treated in a particular way, according to dictionary.com. But how do you define deserving? Someone who is poor through no fault of their own? An amazing volunteer with a zest for life that gives to and inspires others? When you hear the word deserving, does someone you know come to mind? This Christmas, Peninsula Heating & Air (PHA), a local business that has been keeping homes comfortable since 1955, wants to give back to someone among this humble designation.
Now in its sixth year, Project Comfort and Joy is a contest held during the Christmas season; moreover, it is a means for this iconic company to show its appreciation to our community. The generous grand prize is a FREE, state of the art, high efficiency Trane home comfort system with a whooping value of $5,000-$7,500. The professional installation includes all labor and materials.
To qualify, Karen Smith, co-owner of PHA, says the contest criteria hinges on the home, not the individual. One’s income and job status, or lack thereof, is not a factor. However, the candidate must own their home and it must have an existing duct system already in place. Beginning November 1 through December 1, brief essays about the applicant’s life will be accepted by PHA, after which five finalists will be selected. In mid-December, the winner will be chosen during a random drawing on Xtra99.1’s airwaves, assisted by Neal Steele, the radio station’s celebrity rush-hour DJ.
Last year’s winner, Mr. and Mrs. Jose Pagan and their two young children, were among the most touching applicants the company has received since the contest was launched. The family’s heating and cooling system was unreliable, undersized and had been haphazardly installed. The system’s state of disrepair, however, was over overshadowed by a far more urgent family matter. At the time the Pagan’s application was submitted to PHA, Mr. Pagan was suffering from advanced Stage 4 Glima Stoma, or brain cancer. After winning the contest and just in time for Christmas, PHA immediately set to work to install the family’s new heat pump system. Last April, however, this good man, father and husband lost his hard fought battle with cancer. Through the contest, Smith said the entire staff at PHA was deeply touched by the Pagan family. Their hope, said Smith, was that PHA had provided some comfort, maybe even some joy, to a family that really needed it.
The Pliums, a diverse family of 15, were the first winners of Project Comfort and Joy. The power bills for this large household, were understandably excessive. The size of Mr. and Mrs. Pliums’ hearts, however, exceeded their concern for energy costs as this loving family, over the course of many years, adopted 10 children, some with special needs. Since PHA installed their new comfort system, the Pliums have been enjoying the comfort of their new
energy efficient system. And, as often
is the case, goodwill begat goodwill. When PHA removed the Plium’s existing system, the still-operable unit was then donated and reinstalled at another family member’s home.
During the duration of Project Comfort and Joy, the heartfelt compositions PHA receives each year about the applicants’ lives are an exercise in humility and serve as a timely Christmas reminder of the spirit, resilience and generosity of those whom we call our neighbors. According to Smith, the candidates share many endearing qualities. Most feel undeserving of this wonderful grand prize. Some, despite clear evidence of need, insist they should not be nominated at all. When you hear the word deserving, does someone you know come to mind? Beginning November 1, the folks at PHA are happy to consider your candidate for Project Comfort and Joy. Ask for Karen or Faye when you call Peninsula Heating and Air. 804-642-6163 or 757-877-4241.