Good Samaritans step up to help 76-year-old with expensive AC repairs

PHOENIX – Socorro Carbajal had tears in her eyes.

Days after Carbajal sweltered in her home with a broken air conditioner she couldn’t afford to have fixed, a donor and a repairman stepped in to help.

A man donated $1,000 and Damir Ljubovic, owner of 365 Mechanical, replaced the AC compressor and made other repairs at a considerable discount.

Carbajal, after the donations and discounts, paid only $450.

“My dearest thank you’s,” said Carbajal, who’s 76 years old and lives mainly on Social Security.

Earlier estimates were that repairs would cost more than $2,000. Carbajal had reached out to to a nonprofit program for help but it would have taken up to three months.

Cronkite News broadcast a story about Carbajal’s plight and a pilot program to help low-income residents, spurring the donor and Ljubovic to help after the story was rebroadcast by ABC15.

“We decided to step up and and do the right thing,” Ljubovic said.

The repairs will keep Carbajal’s home cool through the summer. Ljubovic said the system eventually needs to be replaced.

Carbajal will apply to the nonprofit program for funding.

Katie Martin, who heads the pilot program for FSL Home Improvements, said there is a waiting list. Low-income seniors are especially vulnerable, she said.

How to apply: Visit the FSL Home Improvements website or call (602) 532-2976.

How to donate: Give to FSL online or the American Community Action Association, which provides different ways to help those living in poverty.

Damir Ljubovic, owner of 365 Mechanical, offered Socorro Carbajal a substantial discount to repair her home’s air conditioning system. (Photo by Patricio Espinoza/Cronkite News)