Fans sit while Fayetteville swelters
Posted July 10
Updated July 11
Fayetteville, N.C. — Dozens of fans collected by a Fayetteville radio station to help poor and elderly residents cope with the summer heat sit unused because few have applied to obtain them, officials said Thursday.
WFNC-AM 640 has spent 20 years collecting box fans in an effort to help provide a bit of relief from the heat. The radio station turns them over to the Cumberland County Department of Social Services for distribution.
DSS gives the fans to residents who have incomes below 200 percent of poverty level and who have a child under 2, an adult over 60 or someone with a heat-sensitive medical condition in the home.
The agency has distributed about 180 fans, but another 180 sit in a closet at the DSS offices on Ramsey Street.
"People just haven't come in to apply for them," said Deirdre Wells, of the Adult Services section of DSS. "I mean, the people have to come in to apply, and they have to sit down, take the time to sit down with the social worker."
"If there are 10 people in front of you, you're waiting a couple of hours to talk to a social worker," said radio host Goldy, who solicits donations of fans on his Good Morning Fayetteville show.
Goldy said he was surprised more fans haven't been distributed.
"We don't wait until we get 50 fans in the lobby. We get 20, 25 fans, and we bring them right over to DSS," he said. "We don't want any time to elapse, especially in the summertime weather."