A few years ago, recent widow Mary Root moved from her dream home to something more affordable in order to help care for her great grandchildren.
Although the Mesa resident calls herself “handy with repairs,” she said one thing that remained a thorn in her side was the new house’s old air conditioning unit—which would screech and falter on the regular.
“My great grandkids were afraid of it,”Root said. “It would come on and make noises and then it would go out.”
The 73-year-old said that at least twice this summer, her unit went out for at leastthree days.
Root and her great grandchildren, who are two and five, had to rely on ceiling and floor fans to stay cool, on top of frequent visits to her daughter’s house to use their pool.
“If I had candles [in my house],” she said. “Surely, they would’ve melted onto the floor.”
Long-term exposure to extreme heat, according to The Weather Network, can have serious and potentially life-threatening effects on the human body. Glitches in biochemistry, such as heat rashes and muscle cramps; confusion and dizziness; heat exhaustion; and heat stroke are
among the common reactions.
Hoping for a miracle, Root said she left her fate up to God.
“I was just trusting the Lord and not worrying about it, except in the back of my mind,” she said. “I knew in the back of my mind I should be thinking about it.”
That all changed when her son-in-law nominated her for the Chas Robert’s 10th annual Cool Play Giveaway; the local A/C and plumbing company donates and installs a free cooling system for at least two Valley families in need.
When the company called Root to tell her she won, she said, “I was in shock.”
“But when they mentioned my son-inlaw’s name, I believed them,” she added.
The Cool Play Giveaway was initially started by Chas Roberts President/CEO Sissie Roberts Shank as a way to help local families or organizations in “desperate need” of a new A/C system.
The giveaway is done in conjunction with Carrier and Goodman, who donate the systems, and Smiley Crane, which provides the crane service for roof installation.
“What I love about it [the giveaway], is it not only helps somebody that really just needs help, but it also helps our employees feel good about what we do,” said Roberts. “We’re helping our community and I think that means a lot to people that work for you as a company.”
While Chas Roberts received more than 250 applications for the units this year, the company ultimately decided on three winners.
Other recipients of the giveaway this year were Tyler Owings of Gilbert, a veteran and single father, and the local nonprofit organization Arms of Love Foster Care—which provides foster care and adoption services to 14,000 local children that need a safe and loving home.
“For me, what stands out is that there are people that are struggling but then there are people that are going above and beyond—like Mary,” Roberts said. “She’s raising her grandkids and that’s not an easy task.”
“She touched our hearts because she is taking on that motherly role that we think is so important in raising good kids,” she continued. “And she’s doing it without hesitation.”
Root received her unit on July 24, and said she could not be more grateful.
The installation crew even trimmed up her yard.
“I’m a Christian and I believe God takes care of the widows and the orphans—I knew there was a way he was going to come through and that’s how he did it,” said Root, adding: “I think it’s great when businesses, or even just individuals, help each other out. Chas Roberts was unbelievable and they set an example for other businesses to reach out to their community.”
Roberts said her great grandchildren now “love” her new unit, and hug it out of joy.