Garland contractor donates A/C units to vandalized Oak Cliff community center

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DALLAS -- We have a happy update to report as Pan-African Connection won't have to sweat out its situation much longer!  A week after someone intentionally broke its rooftop air-conditioning units, the longtime book store, art gallery, and resource center in Oak Cliff got great news on Saturday when Garland-based contractor NTD Mechanical offered to donate the parts and labor for four new units--which would have cost Pan-African Connection around $20,000!

"I just stopped for a moment and I was just overjoyed with tears," says owner Akwete Tyehimba.

Yesenia Garcia, NTD Mechanical's vice president of sales and marketing, grew up in Oak Cliff and wanted to help Tyehimba's business despite the two having never met.  The donation allows Tyehimba to take more than $5,000 raised by community supporters through a Go Fund Me page and use it to add more cameras and security fencing around the A/C units to hopefully prevent a repeat of the crime, which still has no suspects.

"I'm just very thankful," says Tyehimba.  "It makes me want to work harder for them, for sure."

Hey, when you serve people as well as Pan-African Connection does with its free African-inspired programming, having those people return the favor should be no sweat!  And Tyehimba jokes there was at least some benefit to working in the heat for a week.

"People tease me, 'Oh, your skin is glistening from all this sweating and detoxing!'  I probably lost a few pounds, too."

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