According to a report by CBS 42, “Christmas arrived a little early for one Hueytown woman.”
When 71-year-old Jo Ann Stone’s neighbors took notice that she did not have working heat inside her home, they showed the true spirit of the season right here in Alabama.
This week, their neighborly compassion was matched by the altruism of the workers from Brown Heating and Cooling, who came out to Stone’s house on Tuesday wearing their Santa hats, repairing the heating system at no cost. And just in time for Wednesday’s wintery weather.
Stone explained that her heat went out months ago, but she did not pay attention to the issue in the stifling summer months.
However, as colder weather has crept in, Stone turned to using space heaters to keep warm. That is when Taylor Cater and other neighbors realized her predicament and took action.
“I just knew it was the right thing to do,” Cater told CBS 42. “I couldn’t stand the thought of her sitting over here cold when the rest of us had heat.”
Cater is a member of the Hueytown Chamber of Commerce with Jamie White, the owner of Brown Heating and Cooling, so she immediately knew who to call for expert help.
And while Cater was only seeking an estimate, with neighbors planning to pay for the repairs, White took it from there.
He sent someone out the very day after Cater called, and the repairman realized the needed repairs were extensive and expensive.
While working on the HVAC unit, White’s team member noticed some damage that could have potentially been deadly.
CBS 42 reported, “He said the damage could have released carbon monoxide throughout the home, and it’s a miracle they caught it.”
White’s help, free of charge, and the neighbors’ proactive Christmas good deed did not go unnoticed by Stone.
“I just cried when they told me they were going to do this,” Stone emphasized.
She continued, “I couldn’t imagine, because I didn’t have any extra money for a big thing, you know, heating and air is not cheap.”
For White, he just knew it was the right thing to do.
“It really makes you feel good. I mean ’tis the season. It’s that time of year, you know, it’s just what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to help your neighbors, especially in the community of Hueytown. It just makes us feel good to help someone out,” White shared.
“Everyone is family here. We are all very close and we take care of our own,” Cater added.
Then, a great closing line from CBS 42, before adding, “Stone says White is her Santa Claus this year.”
“The workers were able to turn the heat on, warming Stone’s home and the community’s hearts,” the report said.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn