Air Conditioners and fans available for seniors in need

By Crystal Britt - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Dangerous temperatures are expected Saturday and Sunday.

It prompts an early kick off to a program designed to keep people safe.

Without air conditioning the temperature inside a home can become unbearable, or even deadly.

We report heat related deaths yearly here in the Heartland.

"The health and welfare of some of our citizens are at jeopardy," said Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger.

Every year the Salvation Army in Cape Girardeau provides free fans to those in need.

Last year they gave out close to 100.

"We started much earlier, and could surprise ourselves and have a bigger need," said Major Ben Stillwell-Salvation Army.

Stillwell says this is the earliest the Salvation Army's purchased fans.

"We're trying to respond to the temperatures. We're starting a little early. There are almost 20 fans that we've given out already. There's a small waiting list," said Stillwell.

Now, thanks to a $4,000 donation by Pepsi, and with the help of Fred's Discount Store 40 brand new air-conditioners are now available to seniors in need.

"We've never as long as I've lived had an air conditioner before to give out," said Stillwell.

It's all part of Pepsi's Refresh grant program.

"If we can save one life through these 40 air conditioners then we've done a great deed for this community," said Alisha Crawford-Pepsi Representative.

"There are those out there that have the need, but don't realize there's a solution for their need," said Mayor Rediger.

Fred's manager Cheryl Seabaugh says she sees first hand the need with many of her customers.

"They do not have air conditioning, or in the summer their air conditioner goes out," said Seabaugh.

40 new fans are also now available.

"We expect them to go very fast," said Stillwell.

Especially in this heat. "It saves lives. People die in this heat," said Seabaugh.

"That (the donation) will make a big difference. If you can help just one person," said Stillwell.

Then he says, it's worth every effort.

The units and fans are available beginning Monday June 21 at the Salvation Army in Cape Girardeau.

You must be 60 or older with a doctor's referral to qualify.

It's on a first come first serve basis, you must apply in person.

More A-C's are also on the way. Ameren is donating 48 units.

You can also help if you want to donate a gently used or new box fan.

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