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‘Tis the Season of Giving: How Pro Partners are Making a Difference

December 19, 2022

The holiday season is upon us, and a sense of charity is in the air. Year-round, Rheem Pro Partners are at work giving back to their communities and the causes they care about. And though Santa might not be watching, Rheem has been adding so many more Pro Partners to the Nice List.

Over the years, Rheem has witnessed contractors uplift their communities in myriad ways. And we’re inspired. That’s why this year we introduced the Rheem and Ruud Difference Maker Award: to help contractors continue their mission of giving back to others.

The Difference Maker Award recognizes Pro Partners who go above and beyond to support the causes they care about. Winners earn a $10,000 donation from Rheem to the charity of their choice.

This year’s Difference Makers helped support a range of causes, from military families to pediatric cancer and expanding mental health services. Here are just some of the ways the 2022 Rheem and Ruud Difference Maker award-winners and other Pro Partners are stepping up for their communities across the country.

2022 Rheem Difference Maker Award Winners


WireNut Home Services and Knights of Heroes Foundation

Nominated by WireNut Home Services of Colorado Springs, Knights of Heroes Foundation is a nonprofit that works to empower children who have lost a parent in service of our Nation. The organization provides mentorship and community to kids through outdoor adventure camps.

WireNut’s community has a large military presence, with four bases and the United Air Force Academy in the surrounding area. WireNut has not only donated money to Knights of Heroes but also has helped clean up and prep the organization’s property to get it ready for future outdoor adventure camp.

“We had a team of volunteers from WireNut go to the Knights of Heroes property and clean it up so they could use it for more activities,” says Trent Urban, owner and president of WireNut. “For us at WireNut Home Services, giving back to the community is a vital component of our business. By giving back, we can show our appreciation to the very. Community that helps keep us in business. Winning the Difference Maker Award allows the generous donation from Rheem, to help Knights of Heroes gather the resources and workforce needed to allow these incredible courses and programs to continue running.”

“WireNut has made it possible for us to carry out our mission of empowering children who have lost a parent in service to our Nation,” says Paul Huffman, Knights of Heroes Foundation board member and treasurer. “WireNut and the $10,000 donation from Rheem is making a huge difference for those families who have sacrificed greatly for our freedom.

Dollar Heating & Air Braxton Dollar Foundation

Jeff and Kim Dollar of Dollar Heating & Air in Carrollton, Georgia, started the Braxton Dollar Foundation in honor of their youngest son, Braxton, who passed away of pediatric cancer. Now the Braxton Dollar Foundation helps other families fighting the same battle.

“Our mission is to physically, financially and emotionally support families with a child fighting cancer of any type, because no family should have to fight pediatric cancer alone,” Kim says. The foundation helps with mortgage or rental payments, utility and car bills, gas, groceries, school supplies, counseling and more. All funds are raised through community fundraising events and public auctions, with 100% going directly to families.

“We know firsthand that when your child is fighting cancer, the last thing you need to worry about is how the bills are getting paid, if there will be food on the table or if there is enough gas in the tank,” Kim says. “That is why we do what we do for these families. We are here to stand by and support families when they need it the most, to help them navigate, survive and maybe even smile through the pain.”

2022 Ruud Difference Maker Award Winners


H&S Heating, A/C, Plumbing & Electrical and The Beautiful Mind Project

Central Minnesota-based H&S Heating, A/C, Plumbing & Electrical partners with The Beautiful Mind Project, which aims to reduce the stigma of mental health and expand access to mental health support to all.

Rooted in their mission to help others, H&S owners Emily and Jeremy Salzbrun have helped in all aspects of The Beautiful Mind Project’s work over the past six years, from raising awareness and volunteering to fundraising. Emily also sits on The Beautiful Mind Project Board.

“Our mission is to change the way people access and experience their mental health care,” says Marc Van Herr, executive director and founder of The Beautiful Mind Project. “The donation is enough to fund 300 free counseling appointments which effects will not only be felt for those individuals but also their families, employers and our community. Thanks to Ruud, we can help make our community a better place, one person at a time.”

Emily agrees. “Having Ruud back us up on this project with a nonprofit that we’re so passionate about is amazing,” she says. “We couldn’t be more thankful to Ruud for being a partner with us and being so supportive of a cause that we are passionate about ourselves.”

All Star Air Conditioning & Heating Services and Operation Snowstorm

In Houston, Texas, All Star Air Conditioning & Heating Services is also helping children with pediatric cancer. They partner with Operation Snowstorm to bring the joy of a winter wonderland straight to the doorsteps of terminally ill kids—literally.

Operation Snowstorm drops 10,000 pounds of “snow” into a child’s front yard and provides gloves, shovels and sleds so that they can experience a rare Texas snow day. The experience allows kids to just be kids for the day and create memories of a lifetime.

“Being in the HVAC trade, we decided that if we can make it cold inside, we can certainly make it cold outside, says Ed Newby, owner of All Star and founding member and president of Operation Snowstorm. “Our group comes in at the end of life for these children to provide light in a dark place with fun, laughter and memories made.”

Other Ways Pro Partners are Giving Back

Huft Home Services and Volunteers of America, Operation Backpack

Huft Home Services out of Sacramento, California, partners with Volunteers of America on Operation Backpack, a program that provides families living paycheck to paycheck with backpacks filled with school supplies to support children from pre-kindergarten to pre-college.

Together, Huft Home Services and Operation Backpack are helping level the academic field to ensure that no child falls behind.

Anthem Mechanical and Big Brother Big Sister of the Desert

Hailing from Coachella, California, Anthem Mechanical works with Big Brother Big Sister of the Desert to provide children in the Coachella Valley with one-on-one mentoring. The organization provides community-based mentoring and gives each child an outlet to learn, grow and explore not only their communities but also the world around them.

Thank you to the 2022 Difference Makers, and all of the Rheem and Ruud Pro Partners, for stepping up and making an impact in your communities.

How are you giving back to your community this holiday season? Connect with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and let us know!

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