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Oil Heat Cares Helps a Mom Make It Through Winter

Pamela Merola poses next to her new boiler.

This month OESP is proud to feature an Oil Heat Cares project that was completed in February in Scotch Plains, NJ.

Roy Kuczera of Service Professionals in Union, NJ, led the team to replace a boiler for Pamela Merola, a brave woman struggling with many challenges. He reached out to Sid Harvey’s, a corporate member of OESP, for assistance, and Sid Harvey’s made the introduction to Oil Heat Cares.

Here is her touching story:

Pamela Merola is a 49-year-old single mother of three boys and one dog, and is a thoughtful daughter and loving sister. She is an artist, a jewelry maker and a fun, creative free spirit. Pam has served many patients as a physical therapist assistant for the past 12 years.

She has become close to the people she serves, counseling them through their tough journeys and always lending an empathetic ear, dispensing hugs as necessary.

Two years ago, Pam was diagnosed with advanced, Stage IV melanoma, which spread to lymph nodes in throughout her body. With all of the medical treatments she required to fight such an aggressive cancer, she could not work.

Last year, Service Professionals ran a Breast Cancer Awareness charity program in conjunction with “Mary’s Place by the Sea,” a respite home for women who are receiving treatment for cancer. Pam was selected as a very deserving recipient of a new furnace, after struggling with an unheated home for two years.

Because Pam’s house is 300 years old, it required an oil-fired steam boiler, which could not be provided by the company working with Mary’s Place. So, Oil Heat Cares stepped in and covered the cost of a Sid Harvey’s oil-fired steam boiler, including a Beckett Burner. With labor provided by Service Professionals, Pam and her family now have a warm house and were able to make it through the four nor’easters in their very old home.

Broadcast News Highlights Oil Heat Cares

Last month, News 12 Connecticut featured a terrific segment about the impact of Oil Heat Cares on a local community.  OHC and Thomaston Oil Co. of Thomaston, CT were able to help a struggling local family warm up this holiday season.

David Mathews and his wife had been without heat for two years. They couldn’t afford a new boiler because of mounting medical bills for treatment of his throat cancer.

David said he applied to 10 different programs to get help, but was repeatedly denied. For the last two years, he and his wife had to boil water to take sponge baths and used kerosene heaters to keep warm.

David was desperate and thought he had reached a dead end. But then he met Mike Pinette of Thomaston Oil.

Pinette heard about Mathews’ broken boiler and promptly contacted New Haven OESP chapter president, Dan Gentile.  Dan completed the Oil Heat Cares application on David’s behalf and quickly obtained approval.  The process began on a Tuesday and the team installed a new boiler by Thursday.  Thank you to Oil Heat Cares for purchasing the equipment and Pinette for providing superb labor.

“It feels great to see that they are happy,” Pinette said. “It’s wonderful to know that they are going to stay in that house and they’re going to be warm this winter through the holiday season.”

“It was an emotional moment; it felt great to take the burden off their shoulders,” Gentile added. “The boiler was an early Christmas present for them, and they were very happy and emotional when they received it.

Thank you to all who support Oil Heat Cares.  For more information on how to get involved, visit

Oil Heat Cares Helps a Neighbor in Southern Connecticut

Pictured left to right: Neal Garrison, Julie Harris, Brian Frederick, Brian Magner and Brian McCarthy.

Julie Harris of Stamford, Connecticut is appreciative to have a warm home this holiday season.  She is the latest recipient of a grant from Oil Heat Cares (OHC), through the Fairfield chapter of OESP.

Mrs. Harris is an educator specializing in school media.  She lost her job last year after taking a one-month-long unpaid leave of absence following the sudden death of her 24-year-old son in April.  

While actively looking for work, Mrs. Harris has no income and was unable to afford the $10,000 to replace both her inoperable oil and water heaters.

At the beginning of October, Mrs. Harris contacted OHC and was put in touch with Brian Frederick of the Fairfield County chapter.  Brian quickly realized that the account already belonged to OESP member Sam Gault of Gault Energy.  Mr. Gault was eager to help, assigning equipment representative, Rob Capri, to assist.

Using Gault’s fully stocked install truck, lead installer Brian McCarthy of Gault along with Neal Garrison of Torrco, Brian Frederick of Hoffman Energy and Brian Magner of L.P. Topar Oil Co., replaced the old Weil-McLain & Ford Aqua-booster with a New Yorker with coil.  

BellSimons of Bridgeport supplied the major materials at a discount and donated some trim. Purcell Moving Co. removed all of the old equipment and associated garbage at no charge.

Mrs. Harris described her OHC experience as one of the best things “that has ever happened to her in her whole life.”  Our warmest wishes for a happy holiday and a bright new year, Mrs. Harris!

Oil Heat Cares and the Garden State Chapter Provide Relief to a Neighbor in Need

Oil Heat Cares once again displayed its commitment to the community by helping a family in need.

Heather McMahon of Roselle Park, NJ, is a single mother of two teenagers.  She works two full time jobs in the medical field to make ends meet.  A J.W. Pierson customer since 2005, Heather found her boiler dry-fired and in need of replacement – an additional expense she could not take on.

OESP Member Charley Holmes of J.W. Pierson discussed financing options including the local Union County Weatherization Program which would install a new boiler at no charge, should she qualify.

Heather applied to the agency and was told that despite being unable to afford a new boiler, she did not qualify.

Feeling defeated, Heather spoke with Charley who introduced her to Oil Heat Cares.  Her application was quickly completed and approved, and the folks from the Garden State chapter got right to work.

Working with Heat Solutions, Charley and his team completed the project in just one day.

A special thank you goes out to J.W. Pierson for donating the boiler and Joe Harzim, owner of Heat Solutions and Garden State Chapter board member, for the installation.  Ed Kennedy and his team assisted with the boiler removal while Robert Delpino and his technician completed the install.  Carlos Rodriguez, followed up by setting up the burner and completing efficiency testing.

Needless to say, Heather is thrilled with the outcome and could not be more appreciative of the efforts made on behalf of Oil Heat Cares.

R.W. Beckett Launches Promotion to Benefit OHC

R.W. Beckett Corp is celebrating its milestone 80th anniversary in 2017.  The company, founded in 1937, is launching a promotion to benefit Oil Heat Cares.  The promotion encourages the upgrade of older burners to the advanced features of today’s AFG burner. The featured B2008 oil burner contains valuable contractor accessories including the GeniSys contractor tool, the T501 multipurpose gauge, and the Z2000 gauge.  As an added benefit, participants will be entered into a sweepstakes to win Beckett wearable merchandise.

During the promotional period (September 1, 2017 through February 15, 2018, Beckett will donate $10 to Oil Heat Cares for every B2008 burner sold.  “We want to celebrate this milestone at the company by supporting Oil Heat Cares, an organization who does a great job in providing oil heating equipment and installation to those in need in the local community,” states Craig Butler, Product Manager.

Please visit for details and official rules.

About Beckett:

Located in North Ridgeville, Ohio, R.W. Beckett is the North American market leader in combustion products used in heating, cleaning equipment, and for custom applications. Developers of electronic safety controls and sellers of HVAC related products, the Beckett Family of Companies has a presence in more than 50 million US homes.