SAN ANTONIO - During the hot summer months, many people will seek shelter inside their homes with the AC blasting, but not everyone in San Antonio has that luxury.
Especially for some in the elderly community, which has a great risk of falling ill because of the heat.
That’s where Project Cool comes into play, but this year they can’t seem to keep up with the demand.
So far, Catholic Charities and other organization have given out 2,500 fans in just more than 40 days. Something that usually spans two to three months.
“It (demand) could be a lot of things. It’s a very, summer, hot and dry this year and I think that’s why people are having trouble paying the utility bill. They might have air conditioning in the house, but they don’t want to turn it on because then it’s actually a lot more expensive,” said Catholic Charities President and CEO, Antonio Fernandez.
Fernandez said in 20 years of Project Cool, he’s never seen such a high demand for the fans and often times they have to turn people away until more fans get donated. Thankfully, the community keeps stepping up.
“We’ve had people coming to us with not only one and two or three fans, yesterday we had one woman in lieu of birthday presents, asked for fans and brought 29 fans to my office,” Valerie Alonzo said.
Alonzo is the president of the Notre Dame Club of San Antonio, a group that is helping with Project Cool. Alonzo said many people probably aren’t aware how many residents in our city live without air conditioning or just can’t afford to run it during the hot summer months.
“I would ask them (residents) to possibly turn off their central air conditioning unit, even for two or three hours and try sitting in that even with the windows open and see how it feels?” Alonzo said.
San Antonio seniors that are 60 and older and show critical need for a box fan, can receive one for free. All you have to do is call the United Way helpline at 211.
If you want to donate a box fan you can drop them off at any San Antonio fire station, except for the Airport fire station, at any time between June and September. You can also drop them off at the Guadalupe Community Center.
You can also donate monetary contributions toward the purchase of box fans for senior residents. To donate mail a check in any amount payable to “Project Cool c/o Catholic Charities” to: Catholic Charities of San Antonio, 202 W. French Place, San Antonio, TX 78212.
For more information, you can visit Project Cool’s website.