East Texas group helps the local elderly stay cool

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - This part of summer is always hard on folks, but this year's heat wave is taking it's toll on the elderly in our area. One group of East Texans is doing their best to make sure they're keeping cool, and wants to inspire others in our community to take their lead.

"Some people have a pride about themselves. They don't want to ask," says Robert McGee, the Friendship Club President.

So the Lufkin Friendship Club does the asking.

"Is there anything I can do for you? Sometimes, you'll be surprised they'll say yes. I do need this. Then, you'll fulfill that need," says Gary Horn, a Friendship Club member.

McGee says the mission is simple.

"Working to help others," says McGee.

This summer it's all about beating the heat.

Right now, countless seniors are using box fans donated last month.

"He called me and asked me if I could use a fan and I said I sure could," says Connie Gordon.

Gordon is one of the senior citizens who needs help cooling her house.

Club members stopped by to make sure things are improving.

"This end of the house was never cool like the other side. That's why this fan has just been a lifesaver for me," says Gordon.

"If you feel funny asking your neighbor if they need anything - don't. Just use the Friendship Club as an example and reach out to them.

Horn says it's a civic duty to check on the elderly.

"Take pride in yourself and go knock on the door say hey are you ok?" says Horn.

Club members next visit is to Jessie Blake's house.

Luckily, she's able to keep the air conditioner on.

"In my 75 years of being here I've never known the temperature to be this hot before," says Blake.

Her friends aren't all as lucky.

She says they've found a blessing in one of the donated fans.

"She said, girl, that fan sure did help me. I know it did because I know it's hot," says Blake.

The Friendship Club of Lufkin doesn't plan to stop knocking on doors until the heat fades away.

"Two fans there that came in yesterday. Wanted to know if we still giving fans out. I was like man, yeah, please bring them out," says McGee.

If you would like to contact the group about donating a fan, or if you know someone who may need one, you can call the president at 634-3660.

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