Richmond Community College HVAC Club members deliver meal boxes to Sycamore Lane Elementary School in Laurinburg. Contributed photo
HAMLET — Richmond Community College’s HVAC Club has been busy this holiday season spreading goodwill through several community service projects. Club members donated gloves to children at God’s Precious Ones Day Care in Laurinburg, and they delivered Thanksgiving meal boxes to Monroe Avenue School in Hamlet and Sycamore Lane Elementary School in Laurinburg, where school counselors could give the boxes to children of families in need.
The HVAC Club was developed by instructor Marcus X in 2014. It is comprised of students in the Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology program at RichmondCC and students in the NCCER HVAC short-term training classes.
The club started by donating their time outside of class to do HVAC work for local fire departments as a way to practice the skills they were learning and to contribute to the community.
In the HVAC program, students learn about air conditioning units, furnaces and heat pumps, including preventive maintenance, service, repair, and/or installation of residential and light commercial systems.
“The service projects were an opportunity to let our students work out in the field in the real world,” Marcus said.
Working with a local realtor, Marcus and the students then got a list of elderly residents and started doing routine maintenance to their heating and air units.
“The students were getting hands-on experience, and the tenants wouldn’t have to worry about their units failing,” Marcus said. “As long as they are serviced, 90 percent of the time the units will keep doing what they’re designed to do.”
The nature of the HVAC Club’s service projects, however, began to evolve into more than just HVAC work. Marcus was inspired by something Dr. Dale McInnis, RichmondCC’s president, said in one of his addresses to employees about the College’s responsibility to the community.
“I thought we don’t just have to do HVAC projects. We can help the community, and what better place to start than with the children,” Marcus said.
The HVAC Club started donating pencils to local elementary schools, and around the holidays, they began the meal box and glove donations. The HVAC Club has also given away hats to RichmondCC students, faculty, and staff.
“The remarkable thing about this is the students making these donations. Even if they don’t have the financial means to make a donation, they still help package everything up and make the deliveries,” Marcus said. “Everybody contributes in one form or another.”
Marcus said HVAC alumni have now reached out to him to ask how they can help with the HVAC Club’s donations.
“I’m proud of all these students and what they’re doing to make a difference,” Marcus said.
To learn more about the HVAC Club or the HVACR program, call RichmondCC at 910-410-1700.