Elderly woman with arthritis awarded free furnace by Farmington firm

FARMINGTON – A Farmington heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company has selected a winner for its annual stove giveaway program.

Owner Michelle Robbins of Robbins Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. announced in a November 18 press release that her company has selected an elderly woman with rheumatoid arthritis as this year’s winner. The woman has lived in her Farmington home for about 60 years but has had no heat for the past two winters, Robbins said.

“She has a wonderful family,” Robbins said during a phone interview on Nov. 19, explaining how family members had pooled resources and tried different approaches to keep the woman warm over the past two years, including using space heaters.

Neither of these approaches worked, Robbins said, but the woman won’t have to endure the situation much longer. The new device is slated to be installed in her house this week, which means she should be cozy and warm for Thanksgiving.

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Robbins said when the company announced that the woman had won the new oven, she asked if there wasn’t a family with young children or someone who deserved it more than they did.

“We told her it was her turn to stay warm,” said Robbins.

This is the third year the Farmington Company has awarded a local needy family or individual a free oven and installed the system in their home. Nominees for the award must own their own home and have a supply of natural gas to be considered.

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In 2019, the program’s inaugural year, 40 nominations were received through an online process, according to Robbins. That number doubled to 80 nominations last year and rose to 113 this year, although Robbins noted that many of those nominations were for the same person or family. A team of Robbins employees reviewed the nominations and the winner was selected after teams of employees visited the nominees who qualified.

“We met with several people at home to make sure our oven was compatible with their existing system,” Robbins said in the press release. “It’s the best and the hardest part of the whole process because it’s so great to meet people and choose only one winner.”

Robbins said she was pleased with the response she had received from family members of this year’s winner, many of whom reached out to her to thank her for donating the stove to her family matriarch.

“It was really exciting,” she said.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or [email protected] Support local journalism with a digital subscription.

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