Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Firm Leads Local Effort to Provide Furnaces to Needy

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Firm Leads Local Effort to Provide Furnaces to Needy

Article excerpt

It's been 25 years since Bob Tudi of South Oakland started his own business with a pickup truck and $4,000 -- just about today's cost of installing a new furnace and related equipment and hauling away the old one.

And it's been 14 years since the founder of TUDI Mechanical Systems, a green energy company in McKees Rocks, began the annual Heat for the Needy program in conjunction with Standard Air & Lite of Crafton.

The program, described as a "One Day Miracle" charity event, combines the time and talents of employees and their families as they deliver and install free furnaces in the homes of needy families in the Pittsburgh area.

Each year, Mr. Tudi asks the public to nominate individuals or families who need a new heating system but cannot afford it. In response, he has selected from eight to 12 nominees a year to receive new furnaces. The deadline for nominations this year is Nov. 30.

Last January, the companies installed 12 new furnaces and repaired four others. They also did a free rewiring job for a homeowner and updated heating equipment for two religious facilities. More than 125 employees participated in the effort.

Stacy Zatek, TUDI's marking coordinator, said Standard Air provides furnaces and money to buy components for the installations. It also delivers furnaces to TUDI, where they are placed on the trucks of service technicians to be delivered on installation day. She said some Standard Air employees also help with the installations.

"This year we would like to install 15 furnaces and make about five repairs," Ms. Zatek said. The companies have installed 123 new furnaces, each with a value of $3,000, for a total of $369,000.

If you'd like to nominate someone for a new furnace, send a letter that includes background information on an individual or family's circumstances, current form of heat, address and phone number. …

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