Heating the community, one furnace donation at a time

TROY — Giving back to the people in the community is something that has always been central to the people at Dave’s Services.

“The free furnace installation was something — we were looking around Troy, going into peoples’ homes all the time and we hear statements of, ‘wow, I can’t afford that right now. I can’t afford to do that right now.’ Those people are sitting there, and they’re in a spot where they can’t do anything — hence, the free furnace installation came along,” Jim Morlan, an employee with Dave’s Services, said.

This is the 10th consecutive year that Dave’s Services has donated a furnace and installed it into the home of someone in need, free of charge, so that the burden of having to figure out how to get heat in the home for the winter is lifted off of their shoulders.

Finding people in need to donate furnaces to each year has varied. This years’ recipient preferred to stay anonymous, but Morlan said they found him thanks to a fluke phone call. They had called in after another company had inspected their furnace and told them that their furnace had to be replaced, and they were concerned and wanted to know what was going on.

“They wanted heat, is the best way I can say it. Once I heard the phone call from the ladies in the office, I told them to call him back and said, ‘Let’s just go out and take a look at it,’” Morlan said.

Morlan went out to inspect the furnace and had them fill out the slip for a free furnace donation. After seeing the state of the furnace and talking with the recipient, he said it was a perfect scenario.

“It really reached out and touched him — a day after we were done with the installation, his uncle came in to talk to us, thanking us. It was really neat, how it turned out this year. I was shocked, to be honest — I’ve never seen it turn out that way before,” Morlan said.

For Dave’s Services, a furnace installation on average costs anywhere from $2,200 to $2,500, but can vary depending on the need of a home. According to Morlan, the average furnace lasts around 20 years, but with proper maintenance and care, can last longer.

“If you take care of something, it will last longer,” Morlan said. “You take care of things, they will last longer. The harder you make something work, the more you wear it out, and the quicker it’s going to go out.”

In addition to the furnace donation and installation, Dave’s Services started the HIGH program — Helping Individuals Get Heat — in 2016 to help get more furnaces to people in need.

“You’re going to have more than one person in need each year. Hypothetically, let’s say we had a group of three or four different people who turned in applications; they can only choose one of them. So that next one in line, with the HIGH program, if they’re able to get enough funds together, we would go to them and do that installation for them through the HIGH program,” Morlan said.

So far, Dave’s Services has been able to donate one furnace through the HIGH program, which is a donation-based fund to which people in the community can give. According to Morlan, Dave’s Services is hoping to be able to utilize the HIGH program more in the future to give back to those in need beyond their own once a year free furnace and installation.

“The more we kept digging and seeing people in need each year, that’s where we were trying to figure out, how can we do something additional to help these people as well,” Morlan. “We came up with starting the program and putting it together.”

The idea, Morlan said, has always been to get people to understand and invest in the community. Dave’s Services works with POWER 107.1 LP-FM to get donations toward the HIGH program; both Dave’s Services and the station matches the donations that come in.

“We’re just trying to help the community around us. That’s where Dave’s Services has been all its life, and that’s where we’re planning on staying, so we want to make sure this community is doing as good as it possibly can with the amount of help we can give,” Morlan said.

Donations by cheque to the HIGH program can be made out to either HIGH Fund or Troy Foundation. Donations can be mailed to Troy Foundation, 216 W. Franklin St., Troy, OH 45373.