On Monday, November 2, 2020, Lee BIA Builders Care, community partners, and volunteers came together to surprise a North Fort Myers homeowner who had been living without HVAC for over a decade.
Jon Smith is an elderly and disabled homeowner who has lived alone for over 15 years. In 2005, he suffered a severe head and leg injury, leaving him in a coma for 3 months in Lee Memorial Hospital. He was then transferred to a Rehabilitation Center until he was finally discharged after four months. Mr. Smith now lives in his home under the care of his Lee Home Health Nurse, Ron who visits him multiple times a week.
It wasn’t until Mr. Smith’s nurse approached Builders Care out of care and concern, that Builders Care learned that Mr. Smith had been living without central air and heating since 2006.
As all SWFL residents know, a working HVAC system makes all the difference in being able to live comfortably in the Florida heat. For Smith, the lack of A/C presented a critical risk to his health, as it was slowing the recovery of his leg injuries and caused severe heat exhaustion episodes on several occasions. Unfortunately, Mr. Smith’s fixed income and medical expenses would not allow him the luxury of affording any type of necessary repairs.
When Lee BIA Builders Care learned about Mr. Smith, they reached out to St. Clair’s Custom Air to provide an assessment on the AC. Quickly and without hesitation, St. Clair’s Custom Air, Ferguson HVAC and RUUD joined forces with Builders Care to help this homeowner in need.
After what Mr. Smith thought was a follow-up HVAC appointment Monday Morning, Builders Care, St. Clair’s Custom Air, Ferguson HVAC, RUUD and community partners marched down the street and surprised Mr. Smith with the news that he will be receiving a brand new HVAC system, all at no cost. Crews immediately went to work and the unit was installed the very same day.
“A working air conditioning system makes all the difference in being able to live comfortably in the Florida heat, and it’s something we often take for granted,” said Crystal Stouten, executive director of Lee BIA Builders Care. “We’re grateful for the generosity of our community partners to present this homeowner with a gift that will significantly impact his health, safety and overall well-being.”
Mr. Smith was in complete shock and the smile on his face was just as priceless as knowing that he will no longer live without A/C.
A very special thank you to our partners at St. Clair’s Custom Air, Ferguson HVAC and RUUD for making this life-changing gift possible!
January 2021 UPDATE: During the HVAC surprise, Builders Care and community partners noticed the severity of his front tree. The massive tree started to overtake a portion of the roof and would have eventually created critical concerns for the roof and home. Thanks to the generosity of Valor Tree Specialist, alongside Cypress Bay Development, we were able to take care of this much-needed tree work. Special Thank you to Valor Tree Specialist as well as Cypress Bay Development for stepping in to make this possible for Mr. Smith. It has made a world of difference!!
About Lee BIA Builders Care
The mission of Lee BIA Builders Care is to provide emergency construction services at no cost to needy and deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, and their families, who cannot obtain repairs through traditional means. Lee BIA Builders Care offers a full range of no-cost emergency construction services to improve the safety and health for needy seniors and disabled individuals of all ages by enlisting the expertise and donated services and materials of contractors, sub-contractors and businesses. To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $4.75 million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need. Builders Care is funded through financial donations, grants and donated services and materials to provide emergency construction services to qualified homeowners throughout the community. Lee BIA Builders Care is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization under the charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association. Lee BIA Builders Care is headquartered at 6835 International Center Blvd. #4 in Fort Myers. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.org. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056, and by following Builders Care at www.Facebook.com/LeeBuildersCare.