The heat of the summer is here, and with that comes dangerous conditions for those living without functional air conditioning units.
Bishop Sullivan Center has a plan: a program designed to prevent heat-related deaths in the metro area by providing air conditioners to the elderly. Project ElderCool started around 18 years ago, in the wake of a fatal 1999 heatwave. So far this summer Project ElderCool has provided area residents with more than 100 air conditioners, and they are still working to give out more.
This project typically serves the metro area, but has partnered with other outfits to get air conditioners into rural areas, as well. Of the air conditioning units distributed thus far, 21 were sent to rural areas.
“We get lots of hugs, we get lots of thank you’s,” says Chanelle Zak, Director of Communications and Community Engagement for the Bishop Sullivan Center.
Applications for the ElderCool program typically open in late May, targeting senior citizens and those with respiratory-related disabilities.
Though the program is targeted toward the elderly, the air conditioners can also benefit the families who live with them. Depending on extenuating circumstances, other citizens may also be eligible receive air conditioners.
The public is invited to help assist with Project ElderCool. Visit the Bishop Sullivan Center website to donate $50 to help a senior pay their electricity bill, or $100 to help provide an air conditioner.
For more information on Project ElderCool, visit BishopSullivan.org or call at (816) 231-0984.