Community support helping McPherson woman in-need get new furnace

MCPHERSON, Kan. (KWCH) – A McPherson woman recently hospitalized with hypothermia, pneumonia and sepsis has a warm place to continue her recovery at home, thanks to her community.

Last week the furnace at Edie Lamar’s mobile home gave out. This prompted a call to Jim’s Plumbing, based in McPherson. When plumber Clinton Snyder inspected the furnace, the situation was serious.

“When I opened up and looked inside, the heat exchanger was cracked, which was dangerous because that can allow CO2 to vent inside the building,” Snyder said.

The unit needed replaced and Lamar needed help with dangerous cold in the forecast. Space heaters were only a temporary fix and when it comes to replacing a furnace, a hefty price tag is inevitable.

“It almost breaks your heart when you have to condemn someone’s furnace that obviously cannot afford it,” Snyder said.

Jim’s Plumbing contacted Chris Goodson with the McPherson Housing Coalition about raising $5,100 needed for Lamar’s new furnace. While a “Brush Up Mac” account was in place to help a citizen in need, there wasn’t enough to cover the cost of a new furnace for Lamar.

“We knew we could pull some funds from [the Brush Up Mac account] but we weren’t sure if we could cover the whole $5,100,” Goodson said. “We said, ‘hey, we’ll cover it and maybe we can get the community to help with part of it.’”

So far, about half the needed amount has been collected as contributions add up. The progress was enough for workers to tear out Lamar’s broken unit. Goodson credits the McPherson community for stepping up and pouring in generosity to make a difference for one of its own.

“We live in a wonderful community. When we have a project, we put it out there on social media. People are instantly responding to things when we need something,” Goodson said.

The McPherson Housing Coalition is still collecting funds for Lamar’s new furnace on a GoFundMe page. Meanwhile, Lamar continues recovering from illness in the hospital. Her daughter said she is out of the ICU.