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Fort Myers woman living without HVAC surprised with new air conditioning system

Lee BIA Builders Care and community partners recently came together to surprise a Fort Myers homeowner with the gift of a new air conditioning system.

Celestine McClinton has lived in her home for nearly 40 years, yet her existing central AC unit was 25 years old and no longer worked. To get by, she relied on a small window unit, which leaked and has caused further damage to the surrounding wall and window framing. She recently lost her husband to cancer and was unable to complete the needed home repairs herself. She lives with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cannot stand for long due to challenges with her back and her legs.

To help McClinton live more comfortably, Lee BIA Builders Care rallied the community to help replace the air conditioning unit. Labor and materials to install the new American Standard central air system were provided at no cost to the homeowner thanks to St. Clair’s Custom Air.

“We’ve been able to partner with American Standard and Builders Care to present a new air conditioning at no cost to this homeowner who has had no AC in her house for 10 years,” said Greg St. Clair, owner of St. Clair’s Custom Air. “We’re fortunate enough to have been in business for 17 years and the community itself is responsible for us even having a place to get up and go to work every day. It’s one of the highlights of our year to be able to give back to people that are in need.”

The project was completed in just one day, leaving McClinton with a cool, comfortable home.

“After running through thousands of dollars in window units every time they break down, they tear up my floors; they tear up my walls. It’s a blessing to get air conditioning,” said McClinton. “After losing my husband in March, it’s just me and my grandkids. I try to do the best I can, so I so appreciate you what you are doing.”

To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has helped more than 475 individuals and families by providing AC repairs, wheelchair ramps, roof replacements, remodeling projects and other critical repairs that allow deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, and their families, to live safely and comfortably in their own homes.

“A working air conditioning system makes all the difference in being able to live comfortably in the Florida heat, and it’s something we often take for granted,” said Crystal Stouten, executive director of Lee BIA Builders Care. “We’re grateful for the generosity of St. Clair’s Custom Air to provide Celestine with a gift that will significantly impact her daily life and well-being.”

About Lee BIA Builders Care

The mission of Lee BIA Builders Care is to provide emergency construction services at no cost to needy and deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, and their families, who cannot obtain repairs through traditional means. Lee BIA Builders Care offers a full range of no-cost emergency construction services to improve the safety and health for needy seniors and disabled individuals of all ages by enlisting the expertise and donated services and materials of contractors, sub-contractors and businesses. To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $4.8 million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need. Builders Care is funded through financial donations, grants and donated services and materials to provide emergency construction services to qualified homeowners throughout the community. Lee BIA Builders Care is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization under the charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association. Lee BIA Builders Care is headquartered at 6835 International Center Blvd. #4 in Fort Myers. Donations can be made online at www.LeeBuildersCare.org. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056, and by following Builders Care at www.Facebook.com/LeeBuildersCare.

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