Hearts aren’t the only things warming the Lowenbergers’ home this Thanksgiving; the family also has a fresh furnace to do the trick.
The heater was gifted to the Regina household through the Heat UP Saskatchewan program, which donates a high-efficiency furnace to people who need a helping hand.
Natasha Schoenthal nominated her parents, Don and Judy Lowenberger, because of the heartbreak and financial turmoil they’ve endured since her brother’s death years ago.
Plus, for the past decade, the Lowenbergers have been using a wood-burning fireplace to heat their home, which Schoenthal said was no easy feat for the older couple.
“You’d come in and Mom would be walking around in lots of sweaters and Dad would be playing with the fireplace, trying to heat up the house,” described Schoenthal. “Watching them … was hurtful because there’s not much we could do to help.”
When his daughter told him the family won the free furnace, Don said he didn’t believe it — until he had the installation crew knocking on his door Saturday morning.
“Things don’t happen that way — not to me, or us, they just don’t,” said Don, wiping away tears. “This will be a blessing.”
Curtis Beingessner, the owner of Arrow Plumbing and Heating, said the Lowenbergers were chosen out of around 24 other nominees.
“We’ve changed the lives, I think, of Don and Judy. And for us, it’s been very uplifting,” said Beingessner, adding that his entire crew came out for the installation process.
As the family gathered in the basement around their new furnace, Judy called the moment “touching.”
“It means the world, it really does,” said Judy. “It really helps us a lot.”
Absorbing her parents’ reaction off to the side, Schoenthal said this gift is life-changing.
“The happiness that I’m seeing in both their faces and their eyes — it’s showing them that ‘Hey, there’s still really good people out there.'”