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Local Veteran Receives New Furnace Through Free Furnace Program

Local Korean War veteran Jesse McDonald recently received a brand new furnace thanks to the Free Furnace Program, which provides furnaces to veterans in need. The program is made possible by a partnership between Gillece and the western Pennsylvania VFW.

In January, shortly after McDonald’s furnace in his mobile home stopped working, he was hospitalized due to COPD. Unable to replace his furnace when he returned home, McDonald used space heaters to keep warm. Then, he got in touch with the local VFW to apply for a furnace and was soon visited by Gillece Service Technicians who took measurements and prepared for the installation.

McDonald was born in Waynesburg and lives in the Mon Valley. He joined the Army when he was 17 and was shipped to Korea in 1953. After leaving the service, he worked as an independent trucker for 35 years and was married 50 years before his wife died in 2008. We were pleased to be able to help McDonald and to give him a warm home this winter and for many more to come.

Free Furnace ProgramUnder the Free Furnace Program, veterans in need can apply through the VFW, who determines eligibility based on certain qualifications, including a demonstrated financial need.

The Free Furnace Program was initially established with LifeSpan, an organization that provides services to individuals over the age of 60. Gillece began installing free furnaces for older people in need as determined by LifeSpan and continues to do so. The partnership with the VFW is one way we can help veterans and the local military community. So far this year Gillece has donated several furnaces to veterans in need.

To find out more about the Free Furnace Program or to apply, contact Linda Eshenbaugh, VFW Regional Office at (412) 831-6199.