Local business invites families to apply for free heating system | News

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By todaybreakingnews.org

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Superior Comfort Inc. is currently accepting applications for its third annual heating system giveaway for a home in need ahead of the winter.

“It’s quite literally my favorite phone call to make in December,” Superior Comfort co-owner Sherry Ledsworth said.

The company at the end of last fall gifted a heating system to the McKnight family, of North Kingstown. The inaugural year saw a Newport resident win the draw.

“It’s definitely been a success, no matter how many applicants we get, because either way, we’re definitely helping somebody who really does need it,” Ledsworth said, regarding the giveaway’s origin. “We do a lot of donations at the end of the year, and three years ago I looked at my husband and I was like, ‘y’know, why don’t we give away a free heating system?’ … We do a lot of things locally in our town – food pantries, animal shelters, and children’s baseball leagues. But I was just trying to think a little bigger and I guess my expectation is just to be able to spread the word that there is help. Maybe we can get more companies, that can do it, to do it.”

The Superior Comfort giveaway is state-wide, and is not limited to South County, Ledsworth said.

“The first year, we didn’t have a lot of applicants, which I was really surprised about,” Ledsworth said. “But I think it was (because of) a little bit of disbelief. I don’t think people really thought we were giving a system away for free. But the second year got bigger and I’m hoping this year it gets a little bigger, for people who need it.”

Anyone who visits Superior Comfort’s website will be greeted with a white and yellow pop-up window with a blue house. The pop-up reads, “Help your neighbor stay warm” and beneath it, “learn more.”

The link will take them to an application page and ask why the person on their mind needs a new heating system.

Applications are open until Nov. 30. A drawing will be held on Dec. 1.

Superior Comfort will provide the winner with a free heating system valued up to $12,000.

“The system (being replaced) needs to be over 15 years old and they need to own their own home,” Ledsworth said. “Another fun part is when we send our guys … (to replace the systems). Obviously, they’re getting paid but it’s a good feeling. Then they bring it back to the shop and they talk about it. It’s good. It makes them feel good that they were involved.”

Regarding what goes into the installation, each case has varied, Ledsworth said.

“It depends on what we actually walk into,” Ledsworth said. “You don’t really know what you’re walking into. You’re reading these stories and … you have no idea. Devin’s system, the winner last year, her system was very old. Her oil tank was leaking. It was a lot more in depth for what we had to replace — safety wise, for her and her family. So, we pull the winner, we send our project manager out there. He makes a list, a layout and then … (we order) what we need through our suppliers. Then, we just send our team out and they pull everything out, they dispose of it and the family has a new heating system.”

Ledsworth said her company decided on a heating system giveaway because living with A/C is “more of a luxury. But you need heating.”

“To know that you can’t afford it, and you have children, or whatever’s going on in your life, it’s got to be a terrible feeling,” Ledsworth said. “So, my expectation is to help somebody. Whatever you put into the universe comes back.”

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