SHERIDAN — The Water Resources Data System and Wyoming State Climate Office recorded that the coldest month of the year statewide — January — varies from 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, while an average day in July is 92 degrees Fahrenheit.
The luxury of indoor heating and air conditioning has become an amenity some take for granted.
For others, the simple comfort of a cozy home is a piece of gratitude with which they’ve become unfamiliar.
Alpine Climate Control and Lennox will be donating a free furnace or air conditioner to a family in need in Sheridan through Lennox ‘s outreach program, Feel the Love.
Kelley Olson, a comfort consultant and radon specialist for Alpine Climate Control, knows this feeling lingers in the Sheridan community more often than most. She noticed the need after developing a passion for social work and devoting herself to those in need.
She began voicing her need for an outlet to give back to her community.
“When I started working here, I needed to find a way to reach out to the community, and the owner, Bob Gates, was so receptive to the idea,” Olson said.
Olson and Gates worked together on the original project to donate a furnace to the Dayton Community Hall last year.
Between labor, materials and installation fees, both furnaces and air conditioning systems cost around $7,000.
“We were using a coal stove before and it was so dirty and inefficient,” said Angie Navarro, a volunteer from Dayton Community Hall. “We provide for weddings, family reunions, prom, so a new furnace provided for the whole community.”
After Gates saw the impact his business had on the community, he and Olson began searching for sustainable ways to continue to give back. Together they found the Feel the Love program, where Lennox partners with dealerships to donate all materials, labor and installation fees.
“After seeing the impact after working with the Dayton Community Center, Bob really realized how amazing this is, so we got to looking and we realized Lennox has a program in place, we just needed to act fast,” Olson said.
The program is geared to supplying citizens with a comfortable home in drastic weather. The only requirement is that applicants must be a homeowner. From there, Lennox will pick five applicants for Olson to do home checks on, where she will then pick a final recipient.
“I think this program is incredible because it’s an option for everyone,” Olson said. “You don’t realize that a broken furnace is going to be an emergency until it’s -20 outside and you have a newborn baby to take care of,” Olson said.
Angela Swiger, office manager of Alpine, recognizes the work Olson and Gates have dedicated.
“It just feels like it’s so important for our community to have access to programs like these,” Swiger said. “It’s really cool to watch and be a part of a business who has been actively pursuing giving back.”
Applications for Feel the Love close Aug. 31 and the dates of installation will be Oct. 5 and 6.