Fans help seniors beat the heat

·2 min read

May 20—HIGH POINT — With temperatures rising, elderly and low-income residents in need of an affordable way to help beat the heat soon will get some relief.

United Way of Greater High Point invites donations of electric box fans to help keep conditions cooler for seniors, disabled residents and others in need, said Latoya Bullock, vice president of community impact with the United Way. Distribution dates are already being scheduled, she said.

"We distributed 350 fans last summer in our area," Bullock said. "I think the need is still there. Normally we have a good turnout from families that are in need, seniors or disabled individuals."

More than 440 fans were distributed to local seniors and disabled residents during the summer of 2019.

The ongoing pandemic revealed the vulnerability of seniors and disabled residents with chronic health concerns affected by the heat, said Richard Smith, integrated services program director with Senior Resources of Guilford. High summer temperatures and lack of air circulation can exacerbate underlying health issues, he said.

Medications for blood pressure and other ailments seniors may suffer can cause more complications for them if they are exposed to high heat. Whether due to minimal income or lack of sufficient home cooling systems, the help of a box fan can make a significant difference, program organizers say.

The local United Way and Senior Resources of Guilford will distribute free fans on a first-come first-served basis at places where seniors and others in need are already receiving emergency services, such as at food pantries or the Salvation Army. Combining visits for services is better for individuals with limited transportation, Bullock said.

The first fan giveaway will be held Tuesday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Macedonia Family Resource Center, 401 Lake Ave.

A second giveaway is set for Wednesday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Triad Food Pantry at The Seventh Day Adventist Church, 279 Eastchester Drive.

To receive a fan, a recipient must live in Guilford County and be age 60 or older with proof of having a disability and a home cooling situation that presents a threat to the occupant's health and well-being. A photo ID is required to receive a fan.

Bullock encourages the public to consider donating 20-inch box fans. New UL-approved electric box fans can be dropped off at the local United Way office at 815 Phillips Ave. Donors should call beforehand to schedule a dropoff time.

Monetary donations also are accepted ($20 per fan) and can be made at the United Way office or online at unitedwayhp.org. Donors also can order fans online to be delivered to the United Way office. For more information, call 336-883-4127.

cingram@hpenews.com — 336-888-3534 — @HPEcinde

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