AUSTIN,Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Austin police officers are delivering electric heating units to people who need them.
92-year-old Louis Hicks served in both the U.S. Navy and Army during World War II. He lives in an East Austin home from the 1930s where the heat no longer works.
Officer Chasity Salazar responded to a call at his home one week ago.
“He called 911 and said that he wanted to report that people were stealing stuff from his backyard,” Salazar said.
While taking a police report, Chasity heard a clicking sound coming from Hicks’ kitchen.
“I heard the oven was on and then talked to him about that, too, and realized he was using it for heat,” said Salazar.
On cold nights, Hicks was using the broiler and burners to keep warm, both a safety hazard and an inconvenience for him.
“You have to get up and see if everything is alright,” Hicks said.
After a frosty, windy Monday night in the home Hicks has known for 83 years, he found out he wouldn't be left in the cold any longer.
“It was cold, I don't know the wind seems like it's coming in from somewhere, but I guess I could stand it. I could stand it in the Army,” said Hicks.
Tuesday, Chasity and officer Bino Cadenas delivered a portable electric heating and air conditioning unit donated by the Austin Police Association and Cops for Charities.
“You hate to ask anybody because sometimes they frown on you, and I'm a true veteran, I won't ask,” Hicks said.
“To know that he's served and now I'm able to serve and give back to people like him, he did the harder work in the beginning and now I can help at least,” said Salazar.
The officers' act of kindness was enough to bring Hicks to tears.
“Nobody never did nothing to help me,” Hicks said.
“It makes me tear up because he's so sweet ...We might not be able to fix everything, but at least we can help with one small thing,” said Salazar.
That one small thing made a big difference in the veteran's life.
“I sure appreciate every last one of you all for everything you've done for me today. Yeah, I appreciate that,” Hicks told the officers.
Austin police said they have ten more heating and air conditioning units available to donate to people who need them. Anyone who could use the help can contact the Austin Police Association or Cops for Charities.