The YORK brand of Johnson Controls will celebrate its five-year anniversary sponsoring Building Homes for Heroes (BHH) in July. The organization builds or renovates homes and gifts them, mortgage-free, to severely wounded or disabled U.S. veterans and their families. BHH partners with sponsors like YORK to customize the amenities of a home based on the individual needs of each veteran.
For BHH recipients like U.S. Army Specialist Hugo Gonzalez these amenities provide more freedom and comfort while at home. SPC Gonzalez was injured during combat in Iraq. He survived major head and brain trauma and was left legally blind. The smart home automation provided by YORK allows him to control and maintain his heating and air-conditioning system by voice command.
U.S. Air Force Captain Nathan Nelson suffered a spinal cord injury from a rocket blast in Afghanistan leaving him wheelchair-bound. The YORK Affinity Hx WiFi-enabled touchscreen thermostat allows Captain Nelson to adjust the climate in his home from the palm of his hand via smartphone or tablet.
U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Kirstie Ennis was only 17 when she joined the Army as a helicopter door gunner. During her last deployment her helicopter went down leaving her with severe injuries, including the loss of her left leg above the knee. What many people don’t know is when you lose a limb the amount of blood in your body remains the same, causing your body temperature to be up to 20 degrees higher than normal. Ennis is grateful to have a cooling system from YORK to help keep her body temperature at a comfortable level.
“We are grateful to Johnson Controls and their contractor and distributor network for their commitment to supporting our veterans,” says Jim Cummings, president, Building Homes for Heroes. “Gifting these homes would not be possible without the donation of YORK HVAC systems in addition to the contributions we receive from companies across the U.S.”
In addition to the product donations, YORK authorized dealers coordinate and perform installations free of charge and many provide ongoing routine maintenance and repairs after installation.
By the end of 2018, YORK plans to donate its products to over 100 military families. In addition to the BHH partnership, Johnson Controls pledged in 2015 to hire 1,000 to 3,000 veterans and military spouses by 2020.
“We believe in helping those who protect and defend our country through their service,” says Liz Haggerty, vice president and general manager, ducted systems, Johnson Controls. “We are honored to help U.S. veterans and their families live safe, happy and productive lives by donating our products and services to Building Homes for Heroes.”
Johnson Controls has also created internal Veteran Engagement Teams to help connect the veterans who work at Johnson Controls and support them during their transition from military to civilian life. Veterans leading the Veteran Engagement Teams at Johnson Controls have designed a Challenge Coin that is presented to every veteran who joins the team. The coin is also given to the veterans who receive a YORK home comfort system through the Building Homes for Heroes program as a symbol of their connection