‘Project Heat’s On’ delivered warmth across Burton

BURTON — On Oct. 17, more than 80 volunteers organized by Goyette Mechanical helped orchestrate Burton Project Heat’s On in 2020.

This is the 12th year for what has become a very meaningful community outreach event. Project Heat’s On selects multiple Burton area homes each year and provides much needed furnace cleaning, repair and even replacement free of charge for families in need.

Selected homes also received free smoke detectors provided by the Burton Fire Department. This year the Project Heat’s On efforts were altered from the past years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual organizational breakfast was revised to providing box lunches for the volunteers and there was a systematic preparation and assembly line set up to equip and launch all technician crews. The socially distanced event took place behind Courtland Center in Burton beginning at 7 a.m., and all crews were out and servicing homes by 8:30 a.m.

All COVID-19 safety measures were in place including face masks for technicians and proper social distancing.

Burton City Councilman and Project Heat’s On spokesperson Vaughn Smith said he appreciates the impact for Burton residents.

“We clearly had challenges this year making certain safety protocol was followed, but knowing the importance of our efforts, our committee did not want to cancel the event,” said Smith. “The homeowners selected are in need of our assistance, are on a very limited income and would run the risk of having no heat for their family.”

“This program does a lot of good for good people that just need a helping hand,” he added.

Since 2009, Project Heat’s On has serviced more than 600 homes in Burton. This year PHO serviced 54 total homes utilizing 39 HVAC technicians from Goyette. The technicians were supported by a crew of 79 volunteers.

In total, more than $40,000 in service value was delivered during the 2020 event. Many of these homes heating systems were in drastic need of repair and 4 homes received completely new furnace systems to bring them up to safety codes. Project Heat’s On serviced many homes that are completely without heat or have damaged piping that vents dangerous CO (carbon monoxide) into the home.

Project Heat’s On combines the efforts of Goyette Mechanical, the Burton City Council, Burton Chamber of Commerce, Security Credit Union, Burton Rotary, Gordon’s Food Service, All Trinkets and Printing, the Burton View Newspaper Group, the United Way of Genesee County and several other local companies.

All of these businesses come together in a great community service effort to provide needed heating system cleaning and repair for those who cannot afford the service. Applications for the program are made available at the Burton City Hall and appeared in the View Newspapers.

Applicants are selected by a committee of representatives from the participating organizations. — G.G.