Pictured on home page, left to right: Ed Puncar of Advanced Hydrolics; Pete Gonzalez and his students: Joshua Diaz, Tyrese Jordan, and Justin Gonzalez. Photo courtesy of Oil Heat Cares Foundation
The Oil Heat Cares Foundation, an initiative of the National Association of Oil & Energy Service Professionals (OESP), brought much more than New Year’s well-wishes to an appreciative family in the Bronx. It all happened on Jan. 4, with the installation of a much-needed boiler.
When homeowner Milagros Orizal was told by her service provider last month that her boiler was leaking, she realized the problem had the potential to do more than ruin her holidays—it could render her home uninhabitable.
Orizal and her mother, of Parkchester in the Bronx, both live on fixed-income disability pensions. Installing a new boiler–an expense of $9,000–was simply beyond their budget.
Faced with the prospect of living without heat or hot water for months on end, and feeling she had nowhere else to turn, Orizal contacted Pete Gonzalez, owner and CEO of Pete Gonzalez Heating Co. in Morris Park, and a full-time vocational instructor at Bronx Design and Construction Academy High School.
Gonzalez, a member of the New York City chapter of OESP who had patched up the family’s old boiler in the past to give it as much life as possible, encouraged Orizal to apply for a grant through “Oil Heat Cares,” the OESP’s national charity.
“As soon as I read the Orizal family’s grant application, I knew it was another perfect opportunity for Oil Heat Cares to step in,” Gonzalez said. “This is an opportunity to literally give a family their home back at the beginning of winter.”
Orizal’s application was quickly approved, and within days, she learned she would become the proud owner of a new boiler and related equipment. Students at Bronx Design and Construction Academy High School, supervised by Gonzalez and other industry professionals, donated their time to install the new heating system on Jan. 4.
The project not only brings hot water and heat back to a grateful family, but also provides invaluable, on-the-job field experience for a class of enthusiastic future oil and energy service technicians in New York.
“These students are the next generation of our industry, and their dedication really inspires me,” Gonzalez said. “This project adds an incredible new dimension to their studies that just can’t be acquired through textbooks or in a classroom.”
“The assistance of BDCA High School students, and the teaching opportunity this provides, makes this project so unique,” said Angel Gonzalez, OESP New York City chapter manager. “This group effort would not be possible without their enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, or without the donations of the generous corporations involved.”
This latest Oil Heat Cares project was made possible by the Oil Heat Cares Foundation and the New York City chapter of OESP. Additional donations and logistical support were provided by Peerless Boilers, Carlin Combustion, Hydrolevel Co., Petro Home Services, Vaughn Water Heaters, Westchester Square Plumbing Supply, and Blackman Plumbing Supply.
The National Association of Oil & Energy Service Professionals (OESP) is an organization of more than 800 energy professionals serving the Northeast United States for more than 60 years, supporting all levels of the oil energy industry, from education and technical service to management and business owners. Learn more about OESP and Oil Heat Cares at thinkoesp.org or oilheatcares.com.