June 28, 2014 10:29:29 PM
Temperatures are on the rise in Northeast Mississippi. Most people simply adjust the thermostat, but others don't have that luxury.
United Way of Lowndes County is teaming up with Helping Hands for an eighth annual summer fan drive to give those residents in need some relief.
"Helping Hands is receiving phone calls from people who live without a proper cooling system and are seeking fans," United Way of Lowndes County Executive Director Patricia Brock said. "Donating a new fan will give relief to a family or individual during our grueling summer heat. This is a great group or family project to implement in your home, school or business," she added. Fans are distributed to individuals and families who have inadequate or no cooling systems in their homes.
Only new fans can be accepted, due to safety considerations. Fans may be dropped off at Helping Hands, located at 223 22nd St. N., Columbus, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Call 662-328-8301 before delivering.
"It can be box fans or fans on stands, any kind," said Helping Hands Executive Director Nancy Guerry Thursday. "And if people want to donate money for us to purchase the fans, they can; just designate that the donation is for the fan drive. Right now, we've given out all the fans we've received." Fans will be accepted through the end of July, Guerry noted.
The first Lowndes County fan drive in 2006 brought in 24 fans; the 2013 drive collected 79 fans. Fans donated in the years between numbered from 32 to 125.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in 2013, extreme heat causes 658 deaths on average per year in America, more than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined. Extreme heat affects everyone, but the elderly, children, the poor or homeless, and those with chronic medical conditions are most at risk.
To find out if you are eligible to receive a fan, contact Helping Hands at 662-328-8301.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.