Fans to help elderly deal with heat

Published 10:27 pm Friday, June 17, 2016

The Selma-Dallas County Youth Ambassadors are taking collections for their annual fan drive to help keep the elderly cool during the summer months.

Over the years, the youth ambassadors have been making an effort to impact the lives of local elderly through their Be a Fan of the Elderly Drive.

“A lot of elderly are on set incomes,” said Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw. “They’re afraid of having to pay a high electrical bill so they won’t turn on their air conditioner.”

Weather forecasts predict temperatures will rise as high as the mid 90s over the next 10 days.

Crenshaw said the group has been collecting fans every summer for the past eight years. The fans are then distributed to the elderly to make sure they have proper air flow.

During the winter months, the group collects heaters and distributes to the elderly in need.

Last summer the group distributed 70 fans to fight the heat.

“You should see the smiles on their faces when we go to a house with a fan,” Crenshaw said. “They’re just happy about that.”

For many of the elderly, the fans make a big difference.

“[The elderly] call and they tell me if it had not been for the fans, they would not have made it through the summer,” Crenshaw said. “It’s a very good project and I think the elderly really do appreciate it.”

Crenshaw believes it is important to keep an eye on the elderly during the summer to make sure they are cool and are drinking plenty of water.

“A lot of them do not have a relative here and a lot of them are living by themselves,” she said.

Crenshaw said the success of the project is because of the support from the community.

“We want to thank all of our donors [and] people who have given to us in the past,” she said. “We really do appreciate the community’s effort in helping this project.”

Donations will be collected throughout the entire summer and can be made by contacting Crenshaw at (334) 875-7009 or city council administrative assistant Temekia Sykes at (334) 874-1234.