‘Project Cool’ in need of box fans for elderly, disabled

‘Project Cool’ in need of box fans for elderly, disabled

SAN ANTONIO - When the sun is out and temperatures are flirting with triple digit numbers, the inside of Estella Castro's West Side home is sweltering.

"My house is an old house and it doesn't have no insulation or anything, so in summer it gets hot and in winter it's real cold,” Castro said.

Castro, like many others in San Antonio, lives with this reality yearly. According to Metropolitan Health, from March 2017 until October 2017, there were 307 reported heat-related illnesses. About 60 of those were from people over the age of 65.

"It's estimated that there's about 18,000 senior citizens in Bexar County that are living below the poverty level and may not have air, but really the reality is they cannot afford to run the air conditioning,” Catholic Charities Executive Director Elizabeth Nemeth said.

For 22 years Catholic Charities has organized Project Cool, which is a program that gives box fans to senior citizens and disabled people in San Antonio free of charge. Nemeth said currently the organization is still I need of 4,000 fans.

"The demand is huge. We give out about 5000," she said. “Because senior citizens' health is already very fragile, the temperatures do affect them more.”

Castro got a fan from Project Cool two years ago. She said it has been a lifesaver.

"I don't know what I would do because the hot weather, puts me down. I can't stand the hot weather,” she said.

Project Cool kicks off its donation season on June 1. If you’d like to donate, you can drop off a box fan at any San Antonio Fire Department and they will deliver it to Catholic Charities.

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