By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Wintertime in Oklahoma can be brutally cold, and many families have no heat. But our Heating Hearts for the Holidays Contest has given several metro families a warm home for winter.
Chilly days and cold nights are easily remedied for most of us. A quick call to the heat and air company is all it takes. But Deryk Ruth and the rest of Hardesty Team's One Hour Heat and Air know not all families can afford to make that call, so they are giving families a brand new heating system.
Shawna Hara and her family have been suffering the cold to the point she had to move her daughter's crib into her son's room. So Deryk checked out their old system, and installed a new system.
"This one's about 16, 18-years-old," Ruth said. "It's just a matter of having the right parts and having a new unit in so it will keep them warm."
Like Hara 's family, the Matas have been heating their home with space heaters...a potentially dangerous situation.
"It's been quite an experience living like this. We haven't had a chance to upgrade our house or anything around the house trying to keep up with the bills," Heating Hearts winner Jose Mata said.
With their upgrade from Deryk's crew, the Matas will soon be able to be in their home without having to keep their coats on all of the time.
The generosity doesn't stop with the Matas and Hara families.
"It just doesn't heat very well. We have to turn it clear up on about 80 or 85 to get it to about 75 degrees in here," Heating Hearts winner Cheryl Henrichs said.
Henrichs is a single mom who hasn't had the money to get her heater repaired.Any extra money she has goes to help her 9-year-old son Colby's fight with leukemia. Deryk just couldn't pass up the chance to help her.
Like all of the Heating Hearts winners, Henrich is thankful.
"It was very exciting and I was shocked," Henrichs said.
The contest announced three winning homes, but Hardesty Team's One Hour Heat and Air is providing a fourth heating unit. It's going to the Kunnanz family of Bethany. Thanks to everyone who voted in this year's contest.