CINCINNATI - There are a lot of people needing heat relief for whatever reason, either they cannot afford the electricity, a fan, or an air conditioning unit. Regardless of their circumstance, many folks do not know where to turn.
This was no different for an Avondale woman who is caring for her four grandchildren in a four roomed apartment. She preferred not to use her name, so in this article, she will be called: Miss Kay.
"It hot real bad," said Miss Kay. "Make you want to cry."
Cry because she has four fans and one air conditioner that at best circulates her apartment's sultry air. It actually felt cooler at 11:30 in the morning, outside of her apartment than inside.
Miss Kay uses oxygen to assist with her breathing, keeps an inhaler nearby to control asthma, and uses a wheelchair and walker to get around. She wore a hospital type gown to help keep her cool.
Marsha Harris is a home health care worker from Mercy Neighborhood Ministries who stopped in to check on Miss Kay's welfare shortly after 11 in the morning. Harris determined that it was simply too hot in Miss Kay's home.
"Her medical condition warrants that she should be in an air conditioned setting at all times," said Harris.
Miss Kay said she tried to get help with cooling her apartment. Harris suggested that one of Kay's friends take Kay's identification to a relief center to try and get support.
This type of scenario is why The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has a fan and air conditioner drive every summer. The idea is to collect donations and distribute the equipment to those who are financially unable to get it for themselves.
"Because of the high heat, we have seen an increased need in people requesting help," said The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Community Relations Manager Eric Young. "Everybody who receives and air conditioner from us has a documented medical need."
The charity overlooks someone's discomfort as a reason to receive an air conditioner. Instead, the group tries to help those with medical needs first, as a matter of health and life or death.
When Young heard about Miss Kay's condition and inability to get assistance, he offered her a brand new, still in the box, 5,000 BTU Frigidaire air conditioner. She became one of the 450 people the charity hoped to help this summer. While there is waiting list of 150 or more people in need, Miss Kay can now at least cool down.
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