2021 will be warmer—and cooler—for 2 local Cozy Christmas giveaway winners

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 1:36 PM CST
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(KWTX) – Almost everyone is hoping for a brighter 2021, and for two Central Texas families the start of the year is a bit more comfortable.

In December KWTX teamed up P&E Mechanical Contractors in Waco and Ellis Air Systems in Killeen for the second Cozy Christmas giveaway on KWTX.COM.

More than 150 area residents nominated homeowners they felt were deserving of new heating and air conditioning systems, free of charge.

Just before Christmas, Oticia Childers of Waco and Damon Russell of Lake Belton were selected by an independent panel as the winners of Cozy Christmas 2020.

After determining the scope of the projects, work was completed over the past two weeks at Childer’s and Russell’s homes by the P&E Mechanical and Ellis Air crews.

Homeowner Damon Russell was nominated by close friend Annette Elizabeth Green, who detailed in her nomination letter the numerous struggles Russell has overcome and how he has developed a passion for working with those suffering from mental illness.

Russell has lived in the Lake Belton home his grandfather built in the 1960′s for many years, but he has been without the funds needed to fix the ailing heating and air system that has sat unusable for the last decade.

“It will be a great benefit and I’ll be able to heat the whole house, whereas I was using space heaters and window units before,” Russell said.

Ellis Air Systems of Killeen not only installed a whole new system in Russell’s home, but also included an air purification system that’s designed to help in the fight against COVID-19.

“We like to give back to the community that gives so much to us throughout the year,” said Scott Ellis who owns Ellis Heating and Air.

Installing the new heating and air conditioning system in Oticia Childer’s Waco home came with some heavy lifting by the crew from P&E Mechanical Contractors.

“This gift from P&E will bring me great comfort and my family has been waiting for this for a while,” said Childer’s who is better known in the community as “Mrs. C.”

Mrs C. operates Project Lifeforce, a nonprofit that provides life skills training to underprivileged children through Mission Waco and other organizations.

Childers was nominated by her student, Ariel Morgan, who wrote in her nomination letter how Mrs. C was scammed by another repair crew after fire damaged her home.

“She’s taught us to never be defeated and she deserves this help that she would have never asked for,” wrote Morgan.

Paul Barbieri and his crew from P&E Mechanical Contractors installed a whole new system in Childer’s home and even added a little surprise.

“We realized that a Wi-Fi thermostat was something that she was hoping to have in her home, so we went ahead and got her one of those,” says Barbieri.

Barbieri, who owns the business with his wife, says Cozy Christmas was a perfect fit for them.

“The Waco community has been very good to our family and our business, so we love to find these kind of events to get involved with and help out.”

“I was surprised, and I’m honored,” Mrs. C said during the installation process.

(KWTX would like to thank everyone who entered this year’s giveaway as well as Ellis Air Systems of Killeen and P&E Mechanical Contractors of Waco for partnering with us to fulfill two much-deserved Christmas wishes)

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