Lehigh Acres veteran living without air conditioning surprised with new HVAC system ahead of Veterans Day

Donors Delivering AC

Lee BIA Builders Care and community partners recently came together to surprise a Lehigh Acres veteran with the gift of a new air conditioning system for Veterans Day.

A working HVAC system makes all the difference in being able to live comfortably in the Florida heat. Dolores Armstrong is a 67-year-old U.S. Army veteran who cares for her brother, who has an intellectual disability. Her previous A/C unit was destroyed more than five years ago following Hurricane Irma and had yet to be replaced.

“We went without it for so long, and I can’t afford to buy a new one, so it was just going to stay like this,” Armstrong said. “I still can’t believe it. It’s like a dream.”

To help the Armstrongs live more comfortably, Lee BIA Builders Care rallied the community to help replace the air conditioning unit.

“Since Hurricane Ian, many homeowners can understand the challenge of living without A/C – the Armstrongs have been facing this challenge since Hurricane Irma in 2017,” said Crystal Stouten, executive director of Lee BIA Builders Care. “A working air conditioning system makes all the difference in being able to live comfortably in the Florida heat, and we’re grateful for the generosity of Haines Air Conditioning & Refrigeration and Lennox Air Conditioners to provide Dolores and her brother with a gift that will significantly impact their daily life and well-being.”

The project was completed in just one day so that Armstrong and her brother can spend Veterans Day in the cool A/C. Labor and materials to install the new central air system were provided at no cost to the homeowner thanks to Haines Air Conditioning & Refrigeration and Lennox Air Conditioners.

“We try to take care of the community,” said Dan Squire, a sales representative for Haines Air Conditioning & Refrigeration. “It’s the community we live in and we just want to take care of people.”

To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has helped nearly 500 individuals and families by providing A/C repairs, wheelchair ramps, roof replacements, remodeling projects and other critical repairs that allow deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, and their families, to live safely and comfortably in their own homes.