Local News

Fans Needed to Help Elderly Beat the Heat

Posted June 3, 1998

— As if the stormy weather we've experienced recently hasn't been enough, many people are spending their days dealing with the heat. Temperatures have already been climbing into the 90's, sending many people seeking cool shelter indoors.

Not everyone's so lucky. Many people can't afford air conditioning, much less a fan.

Seventy-four-year old Sherman McIntyre and his wife, Tina, are trying to beat the heat with three fans. They used the money they had saved up for an air conditioner to buy Tina a wheelchair.

"It's burning up in here," McIntyre explains. "But from about 10:45 p.m. on it's cool. Now about 11:30 at night it gets cool. Outside of that, it don't get cool. We are burning up in this house."

The McIntyre's got their fans from the local senior citizens center, but Cumberland County is about to run out of fans to give to the elderly. The department of social services is completely out, and the Salvation Army only has a couple dozen left.

"I don't know what we would do," admits Tina McIntyre. "It helps a whole lot, it sure does. If we didn't have the fans, I'd have to get a piece of paper and fan, I reckon."

For people who work outside, temperatures close to 100 degrees means taking precautions like frequent water breaks to prevent heatstroke.

Almost everyone here is afraid that these early hot days mean we're in for a long hot summer.

"I hook up the sprinkler and let my little boy get in his pool," says Michelle Gillis, "and just sit outside with him, or I stay inside where it's very cool."

Urban Ministries in Fayetteville also gives fans to the elderly, but right now they too only have a limited number left.

The Wake County Department of Human Services is collecting new and used fans to distribute to elderly people during the summer months. If you would like to help, call919-212-7083.

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