Oil Heat Cares has been supported financially by so many in the industry through seminars, donations and fundraisers. It is a not-for-profit foundation helping people and organizations in need replace their oil-heating appliances. The National Association of Oil and Energy Service Professionals (OESP) chapters, members and other oil-heat partners recognize and request help for those within their neighborhoods who may have no heat or have other oil-heating issues that require replacement of their heating equipment. Members install the heating equipment at no cost to the homeowner.

There are a few different ways you can be involved with OHC. You can make a tax deductible donation (OHC  is a 501c3 organization) by writing a check or by clicking the “Make a Donation” link at www.oilheatcares.com. You also can donate your time and talent by finding a project and donating equipment or supplies, or by participating in an OHC fundraiser.

OHC’s 2014 Care to Ride event will be tied with its Sept. 14 Fall Roadshow event to be held in Gettysburg, Pa. “Our 2014 ride is shaping up to be unique in many ways,” says David Bessette, chairperson of OHC. “Don Farrell, organizer for the event, is a history buff and he’ll share some of his Gettysburg knowledge with the bicycle riders and others. Also, Ralph Adamshas already designed a course for the motorcycle riders and for the walkers — there are plenty of historic trails for this group.”

The 2013 Oil Heat Cup, a trophy presented to an OESP chapter who demonstrates the dedication, spirit and cooperation it takes to help those in need, was presented May 21, 2013, to Team Connecticut (Team CT)  in Hershey, Pa., during last year’s convention and trade show. The 2014 Oil Heat Cup will be presented at the Care to Ride event in Gettysburg.

“We can’t say enough about the many hours donated by individuals and companies or the dollars donated by many,” Bessette says. “But when it came time to select the winning chapter last year, it had to be Team CT. They don’t just raise funds; they help those in need by the many projects they have taken on.”

Team CT is comprised of the Connecticut chapters: Fairfield County, CT Valley, New Haven and Eastern Connecticut. They are continually fundraising for Care to Ride throughout the year. In 2012, the team wrote a check for more than $10,000 and, in 2013, one for almost $7,000.


New York City Chapter

In most cases after Hurricane Sandy, families in the New York City area received assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but churches and other institutions didn’t qualify. Angel Gonzalez, vice president of the OESP and president of the NYC Chapter, presented the idea of helping the Christ by the Sea Presbyterian Church in Broad Channel, N.Y. — its  structure was severely damaged by the storm — to the OHC board.

Originally the church had gone to oil-heat services provider Petro, in Maspeth, N.Y., for a bid, but Gonzalez, who works as an installation manager for Petro, and Kenny Becht, branch manager, talked to the elders of the church about OHC and how they could help.

“At first they couldn’t believe it,” Gonzalez says. “One of the things they asked me was ‘What’s the catch?’” Once the elders realized the offer wasn’t “too good to be true,” they were very grateful for the help.

The building was completely gutted and in need of a complete replacement of its heating system: the boiler, the piping, the wiring, even chimney work was done.

So much work needed to be done that four chapters (the NYC Chapter, the Long Island Chapter, Connecticut Chapter and South Jersey Chapter), with a total of 20 volunteers, assisted in the work. Among the volunteers were Al Breda, Sippin Energy; Rolando Trinidad, Petro; Antidio Diaz, Petro; Mike Napolitano, Petro; Steven Salgado, Petro; William Gluckin, Long Island Oilheating and Cooling Professionals chapter; and Matt Spink, LIOCP chapter president.

The boiler, the oil tank and all the radiators in the church sanctuary, office space and community room were all replaced. “We had to replace the heating, plus run all new pipe to connect this heating to the boiler,” Gonzalez says. “There was probably 1,000 ft. of tubing used to make these connections and about 300 ft. of baseboard that we had to install and connect to restore the heat. We also needed to work with the Department of Buildings for all the permits and necessary approvals.”

A Granby tank and a Peerless boiler were both donated and Slant/Fin baseboards were bought. Also used were: Roth PEX tubing and fittings; Taco controls, valves and circulators; pipe and fittings by Gil Meyerowitz, a local supplier, to install the boiler; miscellaneous pipe and fittings from Sippin Energy, which also used its install truck to install the oil tank; and baseboards from plumbing wholesale distributor Blackman Supply.

While renovations were being done, the Roman Catholic Church across the street shared its rooms with the Christ by the Sea church, letting it have services there. Once the renovations were complete, the church sent thank-you notes to everyone involved and invited them to the reopening.


Fairfield County Chapter

It was at a local chapter meeting of OESP that Al Breda, service manager of Sippin Energy Products in Monroe, Conn., and current president of OESP, first heard about Oil Heat Cares. After hearing about what they do, Breda decided he wanted to help be a driving force by taking on a few projects.

Mary Lewin, who had lost her job of 35 years, and her father, Harvey Bullis, 89, were living day to day. Bullis would tell his daughter, “You’re tough as nails. You’re tough as nails. Keep going. You’ll get through. You’ll get through.”

When their boiler and water tank started acting up and Lewin realized she couldn’t afford the repair, she wrote a letter to Oil Heat Cares — telling the group about her father’s service during World War II on the USS Massachusetts and asking for help.

Her request stood out and having gone down to take a look, Breda saw the old boiler had a slow leak in its gaskets and was in very rough shape. He determined a full replacement was the only long-term option.

Breda, along with Adam Schmittfrom Sippin Energy Products, Dan Gentilefrom plumbing and heating wholesale distributor Torrco, Brian Frederickfrom oil-heat dealer Hoffman Energy and George Pavlikfrom heating and cooling wholesaler Bell/Simons Co., participated in the renovation.

“We installed a Biasi B10 boiler with a Riello burner and a Crown Boiler Maxi-Therm indirect water heater,” Breda says.

Bullis, who worried it was all too good to be true, was moved to tears when the offer to help came through. “It means a lot to me. Yes it does,” he says.


Long Island Oilheating and Cooling Professionals

Robert O’Brien, president of family-owned Technical Heating and member of the Long Island Oilheating and Cooling Professionals chapter, has been in the industry since 1978. In 2006, O’Brien referred a customer in need to OHC and witnessed the good work they did. He has continued his involvement with the OHC and is currently a board member.

While working on a project with Building Hope for Long Island, the OHC asked O’Brien if he and his company would help with a new home construction project for a teenage boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, O’Brien says. Dylan Thompson was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at age five. The home he and his mom, Gloria, shared didn’t work for Thompson’s changing physical needs.

A Firebird condensing oil boiler was donated by the manufacturer, Quincy Hydronic Technology. “Matt Goodwinof Harbour Sales, the local rep for QHT, and Gerry Dwire, sales manager of QHT, handled all the details and were a tremendous help,” O’Brien notes.

Other donated items include: a Roth oil tank from Brian Coyneof Roth Industries, a constant supporter of OHC’s efforts;  thermostats from Honeywell through Venco Sales; fittings from Marplat and Elkhart (Apolloxpress); and an AquaSmart boiler control from R.W. Beckett.

With the help of Building Hope for Long Island, OHC and the volunteers from the Long Island Oilheating and Cooling Professionals, Thompson, now 19 years old, has a more comfortable place to call home.

 “The house is brand new and handicapped accessible,” O’Brien says. “It would be hard to overstate the difference this project had for this young man.”