Ansery Adams is home from the hospital. He naps on a bed just inside an opened door. A donated fan blows directly on him. There's an air conditioner, but Adams is too afraid to run it. " I'm on a fixed income," said Adams. Next door is Daniel Maxin. The widower of only two months has his apartment significantly cooler. He chooses to run the air conditioner for a while, cut it off and then rely on fans. He too is economizing. Maxin said, " I don't use it. Well, my lights, I keep my lights off. I leave my lights off except for my little night light. That's all at night and in the daytime I don't have any lights on."
Wendi Molandes is organizing a fan drive. She pointed out, " A fan uses about a penny per hour. One hundred hours for a dollar. We can afford that." There's nothing wrong about relying on fans, but when you're in poor health or elderly too much heat could lead to serious problems. That's the warning from Greater East Texas Community Action. Molandes said, " We hear of a little elderly person somewhere or a mother with a small baby and the baby will get heat stroke or heat sickness and elderly adults as well. They should not compromise their health."
Organizers are concerned more elderly people will keep their homes too warm because of high gasoline, grocery and medical costs. They also believe the economy is playing a role in fewer donated fans. Molandes said, " This will be the fifth year we've done this. We had a tremendous outpouring at first and every year it's gone down since."
Greater East Texas Community Action, KSWP and Wal-Mart will launch a fan drive in August, but donated fans and monetary donations will be accepted any time. Community Action serves an eleven county area. In addition to giving fans to those in need, community action shares cost saving techniques. Such as, each degree you set your thermostat below 78 degrees will increase your bill by 3-4 percent. Too much for Mr Adams who continues to keep the a-c in the off position.
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