Heat prompts fan drives for elderly in Texarkana area

Texarkana News

TEXARKANA (KTAL/KMSS) – Across Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Ark., charities are concerned about the area’s elderly residents this summer. Now some fan drives are underway in hopes of keeping the less fortunate safe from dangerously high temperatures.

“We have seniors that don’t have air conditioners,” said Area Agency on Aging Case Manager Karen Khan. She added that sometimes it’s cooler outside than inside the homes of some senior citizens. “It’s like an oven when you walk into the home. So any kind of help we can do as far as donating a fan, get some air circulating in there, may help them out.”

“I can always put the fan directly on me and cut the air up a little more where it’s not as low,” said New Boston resident Ruby Riley.  She picked up a fan on Monday at the Area Agency on Aging located on Elizabeth St. on the Texas-side.

Riley said using her air conditioner makes her electric bill go up. “Sometimes as much $30 or $40 more than it normally does,” she said.

The Area Agency on Aging holds a fan drive every year in honor of Vinie Reed, who started the project. She passed away about three years ago. 

On the Ark.-side, the Salvation Army is also in need of fans to help families they serve. “We’ve given out about 30 fans during the last two weeks,” said Maj. Russell Czajkowski.

He hopes for about 50 more fans to fill the requests that are still coming in. Many of them are from senior citizens. “They need relief from the heat and those fans definitely make a difference.” he said. 

Both non-profit organizations welcome donations of new fans. The Salvation Army of Texarkana will also accept gently used fans.

For more information, you can contact the Area Agency on Aging at 800-372-4464 or stop by during normal business hours at 4808 Elizabeth St., Texarkana, Texas. 

The Salvation Army of Texarkana is located at 400 E. Fourth St., Texarkana, Ark. You can call them at (870) 774-2701.

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