Help to beat the heat

Meghan Flynn
Westlake Ace Hardware sales associate Davon Beach, center, helped Salvation Army workers Chelsea Barnes, left, and Sabrina Maldonado, right, load 22 donated fans into the Salvation Army's van on Thursday. The fans will be given out to people in need in the community.

Twenty-two fans were donated by Westlake Ace Hardware to the Salvation Army to help citizens in need.

A total of $237 was donated to purchase the fans by Garden City Westlake customers who were asked at check-out to round up their purchase, while $130,000 was donated nationwide for the fan program.

Chelsea Barnes, of the Salvation Army, said the program has been going on for several years and helps the organization provide fans to clients who need them because they either don’t have air conditioning at home or need assistance in keeping their environment cool.

There are income guidelines for who can receive a fan.

Sabrina Maldonado, a case manager at the Salvation Army, said people would be surprised at how many air conditioning units break down and how many people don’t have air conditioning or adequate air conditioning in Garden City.

“Some families, they can't afford air conditioner units, so they have to rely on the fans,” she said. “It’s not something you think about often, but you’d be surprised at how many air conditioner units break down or how many people in general don’t have A/C that reaches all over their house.”

For those who don’t have air conditioning units that reach every room, fans can be used to move the cool air throughout a residence.

Fans can be a big help, Maldonado said. Last year, a fan was given to a couple who lived in an attic area. Hot air rises, so the fan came in handy.

Only one fan is given per household, so if more are needed they have to purchase it themselves, Maldonado said. However, the program helps so that they don’t “have to buy so many out of their own pocket.”

Joe Jeffries, president and CEO of Westlake Ace Hardware, was glad to participate in the program.

“It’s truly an honor to sponsor this program every year, and it’s heartening to see such generosity during uncertain times as these,” he said. “It’s great knowing The Salvation Army can impact thousands of lives with the money raised from the fan drive.”

For more information about eligibility to receive a fan, people can contact their local Salvation Army office.