Stranger Buys Tenants AC Units After Landlord Bans It From Their House

Heat waves can be pleasant events that mark the beginning of summer, but they can also be life-threatening incidents that claim the lives of thousands of people yearly in the United States alone. Because of this, people try their best to stay cool during the hotter months, often relying on more affordable forms of air conditioning.

Unfortunately, when a landlord banned in-window air conditioning units in an Oregon public housing complex, tenants’ lives were at risk until one kind stranger stepped up to help.

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housing complex in the dark
Photo by Enric Cruz López

Just as the Oregon summer was heating up, Yamhill County Housing Authority declared that window mounted air conditioning units constituted a serious fire hazard and would have to be removed from public housing complexes. This left tenants facing extreme heat waves without the air conditioning they had come to rely on. If anyone refused to remove their units, they would be facing eviction.

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Tenants Nicki Sherman and Mary McGrew both have health conditions that are exacerbated by the heat. McGrew has Multiple Sclerosis and Sherman suffers from an illness that gives her frequent migraines and swelling — and both women were instructed to stay out of the heat for their health. However, living in public housing, they did not have the means to replace their window units with portable air conditioners. The choice they were facing was dire: serious health issues or eviction. 

The situation was so bad that it attracted the attention of local media. A man named Kim Stark, who stumbled upon the news segment reporting on Sherman and McGrew’s dilemma, decided to take action.

How One Stranger Proved the Importance of Paying It Forward

Unlike the two women, Stark could afford to purchase portable air conditioners — and so he did! He bought two units from the local hardware store for $1500. The hardware store’s owner, Norman Chusid, was touched by Stark’s gesture and decided to perform a small act of kindness of his own. He waived the air conditioner’s delivery fee and hand delivered the units himself.

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Nicki Sherman and Mary McGrew were over the moon and filled with gratitude when they saw what this kind stranger had done for them. “It’s done amazing things. Not just cooling our house but warming our hearts,” Sherman said.

Without a second thought, Kim Stark was able to provide comfort to two perfect strangers. His generosity is an example to everyone to pay it forward in life. You may have resources someone else needs and if you are generous with what you have, you can change somebody’s life for the better. You may even save a life.


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“A life lived for others is the only life worth living.” – Albert Einstein.

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