When the holiday season arrives, our team knows it’s time for one of our favorite traditions: our Gift of Warmth program. We partner with United Way of Central Maryland to donate and install new heating systems for families in need throughout central Maryland. Over the past four years, we’ve completed over 20 heating system installations, bringing heat to homes from Baltimore City to Harford County. That’s 20 families who enjoyed the holidays in a warm home because their family, friends or neighbors nominated them to receive a Gift of Warmth.
One of this year’s recipients was the Anderson family of Baltimore City. After their old heating system died, they had been heating their home with space heaters. With three adults and five children in the home, the lack of heat was becoming a safety concern as the cold of winter arrived. “We’ve been out of heat for at least a month and a half… my grandkids were telling me how cold they were in the morning getting up for school. We had to have heat,” said Mrs. Anderson.
The Anderson’s nomination was submitted by one of our sales representatives, John Vardy, who visited their home for a system replacement, but found they were unable to afford the cost. Disappointed that he was unable to help the family, John thought of the Gift of Warmth program, and took a chance by nominating them without their knowledge.
“When I first met the Andersons they struck me as a down-to-earth, gracious couple who were trying to make the best out of the circumstances they faced. They weren’t looking for something for nothing. They were looking for options to replace their system,” said Vardy. “I was so grateful that BGE HOME has the Gift of Warmth program. I feel this program was intended to benefit people just like the Andersons.”
On the morning of December 17th, an HVAC installation team arrived at the Anderson home to install their new heating system, plus add a vent to heat an upstairs bedroom. “I think they’re going to love it. The family will be very happy because they’ve been without heat for a little while now” said Lead Installer Norman Meadows.
To make the day even more special, Cyrus Jones from the Baltimore Ravens and Poe, the Ravens mascot, made a surprise appearance at the installation. Jones enjoyed spending time with the kids, bringing them gift baskets, chatting with them about school and throwing around a football with them in front of the home. “Heat is something we all take for granted… it’s amazing to give back to a family who deserves it,” said Jones.
By the end of the day, the Anderson family was able to turn on a functioning heating system for the first time in months. No longer needing space heaters to keep their home warm, the Anderson children could look forward to waking up to a warm home the next morning.