WYANDOTTE, Okla. — Rita Thompson summed up her feelings with a single word: "Glorious.”
On Friday, Thompson received a new $6,000 heating and air conditioning unit for her Wyandotte home thanks to a partnership between B&B Heat & Air in Grove and the Lennox Feel The Love program, which partners with local communities to provide heating and cooling systems.
Thompson has used space heaters and window air conditioners since her central system went out in March 2017. At times last winter, her electric bill climbed past $500 per month.
“It was very generous,” Thompson said of the new system and the labor. “It was a dream come true. I never had an idea someone would do this. I’m thrilled. They did such a good job, were good people.”
This is the second time B&B Heat & Air, led by the father-son duo of Brad and Tyler Bush, has helped give someone a new unit.
In May, the pair provided Wanda Spychalski a new five-ton Lennox heat pump system for her child care center, Wanda’s Wee Day Care in Grove. Like Thompson, the unit was needed but out of the price range of the recipient.
Tyler Bush said his family hopes to award a third unit to a deserving patron sometime during the upcoming holidays.
About the gift
Thompson was nominated for the heating and air conditioning unit after her daughter, Laura Thompson, saw a post on social media about the program.
“I thought, mom could sure use the blessing right now,” Laura Thompson said.
Rita Thompson, a semi-retired nurse, was diagnosed with colon cancer in May. Treatment, which began immediately, has included both chemotherapy and radiation. Laura Thompson said much of her mom’s savings has gone toward treatment, medicine and hospital stays.
After learning about her predicament, B&B reached out on Facebook to ask a few more questions.
“It was too good to be true,” Laura Thompson said of the gift. “I was amazed.”
Giving to the community
Tyler Bush said the company received more than 35 nominations for heating and air units after the social media post.
When he read Laura Thompson’s message about her mother, Tyler Bush said he knew they needed to give her a helping hand.
“It’s tough to say one is more deserving than others, but when we got to her, we knew,” he said. “She’s always trying to help others, and to have cancer and be battling it without heat and air, it was tough to pass up.”
When Tyler Bush called the Thompsons to tell them the news, he joked it was a bit like telling someone they won Publisher’s Clearing House.
“She (Rita) told me, ‘I’ve been praying for something like this,’” Bush said. “I’m thankful we could give her a break with all of the things going on.”
Rita Thompson said she looked into replacing her heat and air unit, but her medical expenses left her “totally broke.”
“I can’t believe it,” she said Friday, as she sat in her cool home. “I’ve never won anything in my life, and this was the one thing I needed more than anything else.”
Her granddaughter, Kaydi, 4, started dancing and high-fiving everyone after the air conditioning turned on for the first time.
“I was surprised I got picked,” Rita Thompson said. “I’ll always be grateful for that.”
“It’s intoxicating, you feel so good helping somebody. We love giving back to our community,” Tyler Bush said. “Our community has stuck with us, and has been faithful. So we do our best to give back when we can.”