‘We’re feeling really loved today’: Campaign gives families new furnaces in time for winter
MADISON, Wis. — As temperatures drop, many in Wisconsin are already dreading the cold weather winter brings, but for families whose houses aren’t ready for the season, this time of year can be especially stressful.
Since replacing a furnace can cost thousands of dollars, having the means to do so can be the difference between a warm home and not knowing where to turn for many families.
The annual campaign “Feel the Love,” originally known as Heat Up Wisconsin before it expanded nationwide, is helping about 70 families working through hardships statewide and more than 200 households across the nation Saturday.
“Our house is always open to everyone,” Madison homeowner Jen Dailey said.
If home is where the heart is, it only makes sense that the Daileys’ house, made up of Jen, her husband Mike, and their two kids, Colton and Pyper, is as warm and inviting as they are.
“We just like being with each other,” Jen Dailey said. “We’re friends besides family. We laugh a lot, and we fight a lot, but we’re always there each other.”
It’s hard to keep up a home, however, when you’re hit with a cold twist of fate.
“When Mike couldn’t laugh without a headache, that was hard,” Jen Dailey said. “They found a mass on his kidney. Then our life changed.”
Kidney cancer and debilitating headaches kept Mike Dailey home from work for months, and their savings dried up quickly.
“Last year when the furnace went out, it was a $600 repair,” Jen Dailey said. “The service guy’s like, ‘Jen, you really need to repair this.’ We really wish we could, but where do we come up with five grand while worrying about mortgage payments?”
A few special visitors came to help Saturday.
“We want to help people,” All Comfort Services technician Larry Nelson said. “It’s fun. It’s a fun time. There’s really no pressure.”
As part of the Feel the Love campaign, workers from All Comfort Services donated their time to make sure when winter comes, the Daileys’ house stays warm.
“Donating our time, that’s nothing, so it’s small for us,” Nelson said. “But for the homeowner, it means being able to have a warm house in the wintertime, so that’s big for them.”
“They’re happy, I’m happy, so thank you,” Pyper Dailey said.
A free Lennox furnace, along with a new air conditioner and electrical panel, keeps this home’s heart beating.
“Thank you,” Mike Dailey said. “Very much.”
“From the bottom of our hearts,” Jen Dailey added. “We’re feeling really loved today.”
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