SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota man is feeling the love after he was surprised with a new air conditioning unit Friday morning.
Derek Smith has lived without AC in his home the last three years. His HVAC unit was destroyed in 2017 when Hurricane Irma came through the area.
He was nominated for Lennox International’s Community Outreach Program called “Feel The Love.” It is a program that is focused on providing a family in need with comfort essentials, like AC units.
Cool Today and Lennox International partnered together to make the donation possible.
"It was starting to fall apart and not work very well and I had some damage in the house and on the roof so I had to buy window units which hasn't worked out too well keeping the house cool," said Derek Smith of his old unit.
Michelle Sampson is the PR Director with Cool Today and described Smith as the perfect recipient who gives a lot but never asks for anything in return.
"Derek Smith is a huge animal activist in the community. He has rescued probably close to 400 animals that he has personally fostered in his home. He has donated, he has paid for a ton of surgeries and an array of things that animals have needed over the years," Sampson said.
Smith said he typically keeps around 12 rescue dogs in his home at a time and that this gift will really help him continue those efforts.
“It’s amazing. I’ve had some struggles in the past few years, rescuing animals, dogs and things. It takes a lot of money and time to be able to get an air conditioning unit for my house. It’s going to be great for me and for my animals, my rescue animals,” he added.