Raleigh mom, special needs son receive much needed helping hand

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Carolyn Walden and her son Chance have been using space heaters to keep their Raleigh home warm during the frigid winter months.

To help keep them warm, ARS/Rescue Rooter Raleigh Durham gave them a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit.

"I am just overwhelmed," Carolyn Walden said. "I'm blessed. I'm thankful."

The Waldens were chosen as recipients of the company's "ARS Cares Program" contest.

Rescue Rooter employees decorated their house with balloons and painted stars on the grass.

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They also presented toys, sunglasses and Durham Bulls tickets to Chance, 9, who has special needs.

The family's new heat pump is valued at $7,500.

"A couple of years ago (Carolyn) purchased a system online and she thought she was getting a heat pump, which would be an efficient system," said Mike Smith, General Manager of ARS/Rescue Rooter of Raleigh. "What she actually purchased was a straight AC with heat strips."

Smith said the new unit is energy efficient and should slash the family's electricity bills in half.

That will be a big help for the Waldens, who are using space heaters for warmth.

Carolyn, a single mom, stays at home to care for Chance, who has cerebral palsy and apraxia.

Carolyn's electricity bill for the last two cold months was nearly $1,200.

"I'm hoping with this new unit that next year I won't have bills like this because it is a struggle," Walden said, adding it will also help during the summer when the air conditioning needs to run.

Nominations for the next contest start in May. Visit their website for more information.
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