CI Hero: Heating, cooling technicians provide veterans, widows with security ahead of winter months

CI Heroes

TRI COUNTY AREA, Ill.– With the changing seasons not far off, Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing is once again offering much needed services for our veteran population. Fuller is now accepting registrations for fall furnace safety checks. These checks will be completed by Fritch Heating & Cooling and veterans and widows are eligible to register.

The Fuller Center and Fritch Heating and Cooling are this week’s CI Heroes.

From checking for faulty wires to making sure connections are tight, Mike, a technician with Fritch Heating and Cooling, is running checks on veterans’ and widows’ homes. It’s all in preparation for the winter months.

“When [veterns, widows] don’t have to spend a few hundred dollars to fix something that is a huge load off of their shoulders,” said Joseph Milton, Vice President of Fritch Heating and Cooling. “It’s just not the ‘oh my God, I hope this works every single year. I hope it comes on this year.’ That’s a huge load off of their shoulders.”

Veterans tell WMBD it’s a welcoming sight to see a technician. It gives them a sense of confidence and gratitude. Through the Illinois Valley Fuller Center For Housing, a Tri-County non-profit program, veterans and widows can reach out for these furnace safety checks with a single phone call.

“We focus on safety and security and that most definitely in the winter season, is safety and security. You have to make sure those furnaces are operational.”

Debbie Gaught, Board of Directors with the Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing

“It feels amazing and you can’t thank that person enough,” said Milton. “Every time you see a veteran, you should shake their hand. You should give them a high five. You should thank them, I don’t think we do that enough and hopefully what we’re doing through the Fuller Center is kind of like a virtual handshake.”

Joseph and Debbie both agree it’s the very least Central Illnois can do to thank these people for the sacrifies they gave for our freedoms.

“It’s really not so much the gift of heat that we give people…it’s the gift of safety because almost every home we go into has heat,” said Milton. “It’s generally’I don’t have a furnace that I trust.'”

Not only does the Fuller Center help orchestrate these furnace safety checks, it also helps with fall yard clean up (up to two hours of leaf raking).

“We are the only [organization] that focus solely on veterans,” said Gaught. “Now if someone is above our income guidelines, we’re not saying we won’t help that veteran, but they may pay for part of the materials. We do have a three phase program, where there’s actually no fee, may pay half or they may pay all of it.”

To register for either of these services, contact The Fuller Center at 309-363-3737 or CLICK HERE.

CLICK HERE to nominate someone you know to be our next CI Hero.

More about the Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing

Located in the north central area of the state the Illinois Valley Fuller Center will be serving Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties in Illinois, known as the Tri-County area. Their primary focus will be to help low income families and veterans with critical repairs. They will be joining forces with other local non profits to help improve the existing housing stock not only for existing homeowners but to help families with vacant properties that might be available.

More about Fritch Heating and Cooling

For over 35 years, Fritch Heating & Cooling, Inc. has been your company for everything heating and cooling in Peoria, IL and the surrounding areas! From routine maintenance, to repair work, to new system installations, we know what it takes to make a home comfortable. A huge part of our company is our experienced team of professionally trained technicians, the best in the industry!

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