Sally Wisden won’t have to chop wood this winter, thanks to Bennett Sheet Metal & Heating.
For the second autumn in a row, Bennett Heating has teamed up with Lennox Industries for the Feel The Love campaign, an initiative that reaches out to communities, seeking people needing a heating upgrade for their homes.
Nominations forms went out in the summer, and Wisden was selected as the lucky recipient.
“This year, our nominee, Sally Wisden, was nominated by her (mother’s) foster daughter, who was inspired by how much she gives to the community, and how much she gives to her family,” said Shawna Logan, the Feel The Love campaign manager for Bennett Sheet Metal. “Her mother has now moved in with her, so she is caring for her mother, and she also has MS, so she has to take care of herself as well. What she had in place as a heating system was a wood fireplace – not even a wood stove. It was in need of replacement, but the layout of the fireplace didn’t allow for that to happen. There just isn’t anything built like that anymore.
“She was nominated because it is getting harder and harder for her to manage the wood, so we are providing her with a heat pump and air handler so she can now have heat at the flick of a switch.”
Wisden was doubly lucky, because this year, for the first time, Lennox provided a full system.
“It’s always been heating or cooling, but this year they chose to provide the full system, so she gets heating, cooling, and a new thermostat.”
Wisden, who bought her Wentworth Road home in 1997, was thrilled with the news she was getting a free heating system.
“My mother lives in the basement, and both of us struggle with physical health problems, so wood can be a bit onerous,” said Wisden. “It’s a lot of work, and because she is getting so frail, I am having to do a lot of the work myself – worrying about both wood stoves, sourcing wood, getting it split, getting it stacked.
“My mom’s foster daughter – my foster sister – Leila Sherwood, nominated me. I was astonished. I had never heard of this. She let me know and I just felt really touched by it. I feel really lucky to be the person chosen… it is an incredible thing.”
Sherwood picked the right year to nominate her ‘foster sister.’ It turns out hers was the only nomination.
“It’s actually good that we only had one nomination this year, because Sally is such a worthwhile recipient,” said Logan. “It’s nice to have a lot and choose one, but we were really lucky that the nominee was such a good, appropriate nomination.”
In 2021, Lennox and its partners, such as Bennett Sheet Metal, installed a total of 130 HVAC units in 37 states and five provinces through the Feel The Love Program.
Lennox supplies the equipment, while Bennett supplies the labour. The total package for the Wiksen home was valued at approximately $14,000.
The initiative has helped out more than 1,500 deserving community members with free HVAC installations since its inception.