THE WOODLANDS, TX – Though it was bitterly cold outside, one local family received heartwarming news as the owners and staff of Carl’s Quality Cooling and Heating, LLC for the fourth year in a row gave away a complete, new HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system.
As they’ve done in years past, the staff at Conroe-based Carl’s put out the word that they were accepting nominations for deserving families in need of such a system. Local resident Benjamin Campbell heard of the giveaway and submitted his entry on behalf of his adoptive mother, Kristie Lewis.
“She’s always taken good care of me and everyone in our family,” he said in an exclusive interview with Woodlands Online. “Her AC doesn’t work at all and a full system is expensive. She’s down to window units in her house. She’s getting older, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to really show her that I’m thinking about her and that God answers prayers. I put it out there, told her story, and it came to fruition.”
Woodlands Online sat down with Carl Schweikhartt, president and owner of Carl’s Heating and Cooling, and several members of his crew, to discuss the giveaway, its history, and his reasons for continuing the tradition over the years.
“It’s a way that we want to give back,” said Carl. “George is my older brother, and both of us worked for an AC company in Philadelphia 20 or 30 years ago. This was a large, well-established company that did the same giveaway, and I always thought it was a great thing to do. It was great. I think we’re rewarded as much, or even more, than our nominees are.”
There were approximately 45 nominations this year, all hoping to receive a heating/cooling system worth anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 on behalf of loved ones in need. Justin Tubbs, sales manager at Carl’s (and also the unofficial mascot for the company videos on YouTube), was part of the selection team who chose Benjamin and Kristie. “One thing I felt compelling about this person is that the nominator is the adopted son of the nominee,” he said. “We read his story about how she took him in as a ‘stray cat,’ as he put it, and were struck with the thought that this is a lady who really overextends herself for other people, and the opportunity we had to give back to somebody like that is really a blessing to us more so even to her.”
Though officially only one system is given away, Justin did admit that more families than that have benefited. “Last year we helped two families, one officially, and another we kept ‘under the radar’ because we really felt they could use our help; we called them our ‘first runner up.’ We might be doing the same this year,” he said. “Two giveaways, maybe even three.”
Woodlands Online was on hand at the presentation, when the crew showed up with Benjamin at Kristie’s house to give her the good news. “God does answer prayers,” she said. “My AC is completely out and the window units can’t keep up with our needs. Thank you so much to Carl’s for doing this for us.”
Taylor Caldwell, general manager of Carl’s, is a firm believer in the altruism exhibited by Carl and his company. “It’s important for people to know that this isn’t some promotional thing; we’ve never collected anyone’s contact info or put them in a newsletter in regards to this annual tradition,” he said. “This is the first year we’ve done this that we’ve let the public outside of our YouTube followers know about it, thanks to Woodlands Online. We do this to support the community, not to take anything.”
Justin Tubbs also embraces the giving nature his boss Carl espouses. “This is something that Carl was already doing before he made it an official giveaway, and one of many such things he does throughout the year,” he said. “He’s a very giving and generous person; that’s why I chose to work for him. He wants to do the right thing all the time and truly puts others first. It’s a habit of the company to constantly be giving back to the community.”
Carl himself summed up his reasoning in plain terms: “We’re blessed throughout the year and this is our chance to give back.”