I’ve never given much thought to hot water. Have you? When I need to wash my hands, take a shower, clean the dishes, or do the laundry, I turn a knob, hot water flows, and the job’s done.
It’s not as if I think hot water is “magic.” I know its source is the hot water tank…but I can’t ever recall saying a prayer of thanks for that hardworking unit. After all, it’s a machine that sits in a dusty basement corner. I just assume it’s there and it works.
I think that’s how many of us feel about our hot water supply… until that one horrid morning when you turn on the shower and no matter how long you wait, that nozzle keeps shooting ice cold water. In disbelief, you try the sink faucet. Nope! More cold water.
Maybe it’s the kitchen faucet? Same deal! About now you remember the hot water tank in the dusty basement. But it’s no longer just a “tank.” Now it’s the most important appliance in your home.
That’s pretty much the story I heard from our Director at the largest Marist Brothers’ retirement facility – a 4-story building that 22 elderly and disabled Brothers call home.
In a bit of a panic, we called in the plumbing pros, who quickly alerted us that our nearly 25-year old hot water heater was shot. Necessity forced us to purchase a new unit – a 119-gallon, gas fired, direct vent, energy efficient water heater.
And that’s not all we got.
I also received an $11,000 invoice…many thousands more than expected and far, far beyond our budget for emergency repairs.
Payment is due in full within 60 days and without your support, there’s no possible way we can cover this invoice!
It turned out that we could not install a replacement tank like the old one. Over the years, we’d turned unused space into additional bedrooms and bathrooms – to accommodate the growing number of elderly and disabled Brothers. Our plumbers assured us that another small water heater would be insufficient for our 4-story building, and they would never guarantee it! So, larger and more expensive we went.
Perhaps you understand our need for a bigger, more costly unit – and why I urgently need your help. But to drive home my desperate situation, listen to this!
After selecting an approved hot water heater, we learned that the old pipes, buried deep within walls, needed updating. Ka-ching! Another couple thousand dollars spent. We also learned that the new unit needed a larger platform due to new building codes. That added another couple thousand dollars to our invoice.
There you have it. An $11,000 drama. But what am I to do with this bill? I can’t wash it down the drain. I can only clean up this mess if our extended Marist Family bands together and helps out. I hope you understand how important my plea is. Trust me, anything you can afford – even if it’s only $25 – helps more than you can imagine! Consider the two nickels with my letter. If you add whatever you can afford, those two coins begin to multiply. Two coins become four; four become eight, and so it goes until we have the $11,000 so desperately needed.
After you write your check, I ask one more favor. Please add your prayer intentions to the enclosed response slip and place it in the return envelope with your donation. The Brothers and I want very much to include your prayer intentions during a special Mass on May 7, which is the National Day of Prayer.
I look forward to hearing from you! In the meantime, may all your days be happy. By the way, it’s about that time to keep your eyes open for that random crocus…the first sign of spring!
God bless you for caring so deeply,
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of Development