Helping those who help the neediest: Advanced Air donates AC to St. Vincent de Paul

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Wyatt Bigler of Advanced Air Systems soders the copper connection while installing a new AC unit for St. Vincent de Paul as part of Advanced Air’s community betterment program.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – What do you do when those who help the needy are themselves in need of assistance? You call in the calvary. 

In this case, it was Advanced Air Systems riding to the rescue with a brand new Trane 14 SEER air conditioning unit with a 10-year warranty installed all for free.

On Tuesday, the available employees of Advanced Air Systems joined with the volunteers of St. Vincent de Paul to share in the joy of having the cold air continue to flow.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. The Safford location also has a thrift store. Proceeds from those sales go toward tangible assistance for those in need. At its heart, St. Vincent de Paul brings those who need assistance in contact with the assistance that is available.  

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The Advanced Air crew joined with the St. Vincent de Paul group to celebrate the new AC unit.

St. Vincent de Paul President Linda Lopez called the donation “a Godsend” and said the money that the group would have to spend for an air conditioner is enough to help 60 people with utilities and numerous others with rent. 

“That’s a big deal,” Lopez said. “For us, it’s a really big deal. You just don’t know.” 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: This shows a sign over a table in the food pantry area of St. Vincent de Paul.

The replacement is the initial start of the company’s expansion of its “Gift of Heat” program that previously helped a handful of those in need per year with a new heat pump to avoid being cold in the winter. Now, the company is expanding the program to include AC units as well.

Vince Trujillo, of Advanced Air Systems, said his Godmother, Lydia Hernandez, volunteers at St. Paul de Vincent and originally inquired about service to the unit, however it was beyond repair. Hernandez’s parents were the original founders of the local branch of the charity, according to Lopez.  

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Vince Trujillo of Advanced Air Systems gets a hug from his Godmother, Lydia Hernandez, at the event.

Since the charity couldn’t afford a replacement, Trujillo looked into what Advanced Air could do to help and they were able to expand the Gift of Heat program to now include AC units. The plan was brought to the brass at Advanced Air, who gave the go-ahead. Advanced Air Systems owner Tyler Myers said it was a simple deduction.  

“This one they needed and it broke and they didn’t have the funds to fix it,” he said.

The building utilizes additional AC units that Advanced Air services, and Myers said they would address any new issues as they come as may be. 

Trujillo said he wanted as many in the company there to share in the moment. 

“I didn’t want it just to be, you know, us here who are installing it or just us and the owners, Tyler and Jaime, I wanted to try and get everybody here throughout the company because it’s not just Tyler and Jaime or just myself. It’s not just Trane or Advanced Air, we all make up Advanced Air . . . I feel like it was important to get the whole company here so everybody can feel a part of giving back to the community and helping out.”

Lopez was amazed at the quickness of the service and praised Advance Air. 

“I wasn’t expecting anything to be fixed at least for another week or two,” Lopez said. “This is a Godsend.”