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The heat is on

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | December 2, 2020 1:06 AM

POST FALLS — It had been a few years since Mylinda Smiley turned on the heat in the house and it warmed up to the temperature on the thermostat.

Now, thanks to J.A. Bertsch Heating and Cooling LLC, that’s what happens. Nothing like the warmth of having it be 70 degrees inside when it’s 30 degrees outside.

“We’re amazingly blessed to have a company like that step up and provide for our family,” Smiley said Tuesday. “My first thought was, it was too good to be true.”

But it was true.

Darren, Mylinda and their children recently received a new Daikin gas furnace courtesy of J.A. Bertsch.

In support and appreciation of local veterans, the company at 3645 N. Government Way gave away a new gas furnace, including installation, to a veteran in need.

People submitted names and brief descriptions of veterans for a drawing. Deadline for entries was Sept. 18.

“We love to hear stories about our local heroes,” wrote Joel Bertsch, owner.

Sgt. Maj. Darren Smiley has 25 years of service in the Marines. He served two tours of duty in Iraq, in 2003 and 2005. He has served in other locations around the world, but wanted to remain stateside to be close to family and is now based out of Fort Lewis near Tacoma, Wash., when reporting for duty.

He is also a counselor with Kootenai Behavioral Health and a volunteer at his church, where he leads security.

Mylinda Smiley said the family lives on her husband’s income so she can be home with the kids, so their finances are limited.

They decided this year to replace old windows in their Post Falls house, which is good, but that meant waiting to repair their broken furnace. Heading into winter, they were using space heaters to warm rooms in the house.

The gift from J.A. Bertsch Heating and Cooling LLC was an answer to prayer. Joel Bertsch came over to the house to inspect the old furnace, mapped out the best way to proceed, and within a day, installed a new one.

“The home team at J.A. Bertsch were honored to help a great family in our community,” Joel wrote. "The Smiley family is led by an amazing man who has spent his life service for his family, his church, his community and his country. They had a need for a new furnace and we were happy to gift one to them as the winners of our veterans furnace giveaway!”

J.A. Bertsch also installed a furnace free of charge to a family in need Monday through Press Christmas For All.

"They reached out to us to see if we could help this family out. So we did," Joel said.

Mylinda Smiley said that now, with new windows and a new furnace, the family is staying warm on these cold North Idaho days and nights.

“It’s amazing he would have a contest like that. They were so nice,” Mylinda said.

Mylinda hopes the generosity of J.A. Bertsch inspires others to give what they can to benefit those in their community.

“I wish more people would see they have something to give,” she said.