Program provides free furnaces to families in need

Published: Oct. 7, 2017 at 7:28 PM CDT
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BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) -- 175 homes will stay warm this winter thanks to a program that's continuing to grow.

Providing furnaces for people who need them most - that's the mission of Heat Up Illinois, a program that is celebrating it's second year in the state.

Fleming Heating and Air Conditioning and Lennox Industries are each providing furnaces for people who are chosen from a list of nominated names.

Winners are based on the candidate's level of need. These furnaces are free, along with free installation. Herman Hollingsworth is 93-year-old World War II veteran and lives in Belvidere. He and his wife are enjoying a new furnace today thanks to the program.

"They came back and said my wife had sent me in, and you're on the line of being looked for. Eventually it just ended up, we was the one that won the furnace, and we sure appreciate it. We do," says one free furnace winner, Herman Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth was nominated by his wife to receive a new furnace. He struggles with his vision and mobility and they were not able to afford a new furnace on their own.

This program was new to Illinois last year, however, Wisconsin and Michigan have had similar programs for several years. Organizers hope to continue spreading to other states.