Jessica Mondragon, a social worker at the Salvation Army in Beaumont, sees it all the time. Older people, those on a fixed income, making a choice between running the AC and buying food.
“There are people who come to us who really really need it,” she said speaking of older southeast Texans who cannot afford to run air conditioning, or simply do not have it.
While the summer temperatures may be uncomfortable for younger people, for those over 65 it could be hazardous. The Centers for Disease Control says older adults do not adjust as well as young people to sudden changes in temperature, and they are more likely to have a chronic medical condition that affects the body’s response to heat. But staying cool is not always financially possible for those on a fixed income.
The Salvation Army Thursday morning received a shipment of fans from Entergy. Volunteers will give the fans to local seniors.
This week’s storms have prevented temperatures from rising much above 90. Thursday’s high is expected in the lower 90s. But the heat index will be around 102 and temperatures will go higher in the upcoming months.
"We appreciate this generous donation from Entergy," said Captain Donald Marvels, commanding officer of the Beaumont Salvation Army corps. "There are many senior citizens here in town who will benefit from these box fans," he added.
The fans, donated by Entergy, went to four charitable organizations for distribution. The power company gave 120 fans to each of the Salvation Army locations in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange. Other charities receiving fans include United Christian Care Center, Some other Place and the community Care Prayer Outreach.
This is the 17th year the fans have been given to the elderly in our area. For more information about the program, call The Salvation Army at 409-896-2361.