Water heater retrofit delivers at The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House

Share With:

Tucked inside a 15-bedroom facility in Baltimore, Maryland, is a family-centered, supportive community of residents who have been brought together by an unfortunate set of circumstances — a critically ill child. Despite the difficulties that accompany tending to sick children, The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins understands the integral role a family plays in the care and treatment of a patient, thus creating an environment that serves both children and their families with comprehensive attention.


The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House is an organization founded on the principles of philanthropy. Its dedicated teams of doctors are leaders in innovative research and are committed to providing patients with the most advanced pediatric care available – a mission that has not gone unnoticed.

Serving as a national model for pediatric hospital housing, the facility accommodates up to 15 families each night and provides an average of 2,000 overnight stays each month to families from every state in the U.S. and over 76 countries worldwide.

IMG_2806In April 2014, Sean Morrison, director of operations for Believe in Tomorrow, noticed a large ring of water surrounding one of the two 120-gallon water heaters that service the facility’s 18 showers, 20 plus sinks, 4 dishwashers, and 4 washing machines. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that the leak was caused by a cracked liner and the unit was in urgent need of replacement.

Confined to dark, remote areas of a building, water heaters are often a forgotten amenity, rarely associated with the well being of residents. However, a well running unit is directly associated with the comfort and support that The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House is known to provide. From cleaning and disinfecting facility surfaces, bedding and laundry to providing comfort for a patient with a warm water compress, reliable hot water is critical to delivering care.

Just three hours away in the resort town of Ocean City, Maryland, resides a different set of professionals who are also experts in their craft. Mann Properties is a nationally accredited, full-service property management company that has more than 75 years of experience in the field. And while the day-to-day business of employees at Mann Properties may differ from those at The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House, the guiding principles of expertise, knowledge and a daily commitment to results are what bring them together.

Mann Properties was on the receiving end of Morrison’s first attempt to find a donor willing to help Believe in Tomorrow replace the water heater — marking the beginning of a process that would rely heavily on an intimate web of contacts coming together to form a solution.

“While a new water heater may not be the most glitzy donation, it is absolutely essential to families going through a medical crisis,” said Morrison.

Following the phone call, Mann Properties reached out to N.H. Yates and Company, a distributor for A. O. Smith.

To accommodate the hot water needs of more than 24,000 overnight family stays annually, Believe in Tomorrow needed an industrial-strength electric water heater with the ability to deliver hot water when and where it is needed. From patient rooms to laundry and kitchen facilities, the demand for hot water is high in the three-story building.

IMG_2809Upon being briefed, A. O. Smith recommended its commercial electric 119-gallon Gold Series DRE water heater — a unit equipped with all of the features that The Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House needed in a product.

The Gold Series, an industry-leading, heavy-duty commercial electric water heater, is designed to provide end users with reliable performance and long-term efficiency. The water heater comes standard with gold-plated heating elements. The patented gold plating makes heating elements resistant to scale build-up, which results in longer service life for the elements.  In addition, the water heater has individual element thermostats allowing for more precise temperature control (120° to 180°F). The Gold Series is designed for demanding, high-volume commercial applications.

Following A. O. Smith’s donation, Bauer Mechanical, a mechanical contracting company in Annapolis, Maryland, that is no stranger to charitable work, agreed to do the installation.

“We’re a family-driven company with strong values and while we don’t advertise as a service company, we are involved with projects like Christmas in July and Habitat for Humanity, which is why I didn’t have to think twice about sending someone over to do this installation,” said Jeff Bauer, senior vice president for Bauer Mechanical. “Anytime there’s a need like this, my guys will always step up. Getting involved with this type of job goes a long way and provides us with a meaningful opportunity to give back to families in need.”

The discovery of the cracked water heater created an urgent need for Believe in Tomorrow and their patient families. The process shed light on how great companies coming together can deliver great results for an even greater cause.

“The entire issue was solved within a timeframe of only three months,” said Morrison. “We are so grateful to A.O. Smith for their quick response time and generous donation of a top-of-the-line unit. They stepped up in a big way, and the ease of working with them and their distributors and installers in the local area make this a great project to showcase.”

Join the conversation: