Summer in the City
Family Eldercare Summer Fan Drive needs your help beating the Austin heat
Y'all, it's 105 degrees outside today. At least that's what my car with the spotty A/C was telling me at 1 p.m. when I was driving around downtown. And people were outside. Walking. In the heat.
As frustrating and expensive as it might be to keep cool in the Austin summer, Family Eldercare reminds us that there are also members of our community that are suffering without any air conditioning whatsoever in their homes.
Sadly, the majority of these individuals are low-income seniors, adults with disabilities and families with children who know the heat not as an inconvenience but as a potential threat to their lives.
For over 20 years, Family Eldercare, a non-profit with ties to United Way and St. David's Foundation, has encouraged Central Texans to take part in their annual Summer Fan Drive to beat the record-breaking heat by donating new box fans and donating to buy new window units to give to individuals in need.
Last year, they were able to distribute almost 7,000 fans and 160 window units to Austin area homes — all of which were donated.
Since fan delivery literally opens the doors to homes of individuals in need, Family Eldercare also takes advantage of the opportunity to meet recipients to offer further relief from other challenges such as chronic disease, malnutrition and abuse.
These correlating conditions can often arise from issues of poverty, mobility and isolation, so the fan donation provides the perfect first step toward changing their quality of living.
Fan donations for 2012 began Friday at Fan Fare Friday, the all-day live music kick-off party held at Threadgill's World Headquarters. Local artists like Nakia, Matt the Electrician and Saints of Valory performed throughout the day, and KGSR did a live broadcast of Lonestar State of Mind show with headliners Guns of Navarone. All day and night, philanthropic music fans came with portable fans in hand to donate to the worth cause.
If you missed the concert, don't worry; there are plenty of other ways to get involved with the Summer Fan Drive throughout the upcoming months. You can drop off new fans (20" box fans or 12" or larger oscillating fans preferred) and high-efficiency window A/C units at the Family Eldercare office, any WellMed medical center or any City of Austin fire station. Family Eldercare also collects donations on their website throughout the year.
You can also pledge to build your own Summer Fan Drive team at home, work or church to raise money and collect fans on behalf of Family Eldercare. Full details are available online, but the organization asks teams to be very specific about the suggested donations to guarantee every offering makes into a home of a person in need.
It's going to be another rough summer. Let's help those who may need a little help making it through.