Salvation Army seeks fans to keep families cool - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Salvation Army seeks fans to keep families cool


The summer heat is upon us and, unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of air conditioning.

To help keep families cool during the summer months, the Salvation Army launched the "Salvation Army Fan Club." It's encouraging the public to donate fans for families that either can't afford air conditioning or are trying to save money on utility bills.

The organization assists over 250 families each summer across eastern Iowa among the facilities in Waterloo, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

The Salvation Army on Franklin St. in Waterloo started getting fan donations late last week on July 11. It only had 10 box fans to start with and wants to receive at least 200 by the end of July.

Case Manager Judy Gilstrap said utility bills have the potential to sky rocket for many families during the summer.

"We've seen utility bills that get in over the thousands because heat during the winter and then now we have the cooling months to help pay for too. It's a hardship on some of those families for sure," Gilstrap said.

She said the Salvation Army also offers cash donations to help families pay their utility bills.

Chana Perry lives in Waterloo with her six children. She's currently homeless and has been staying at a friend's house for the past few weeks. With no air conditioning, summer isn't exactly a breeze.

"We'll go for a walk, go up by the library and go through the sprinklers, go up by the water and try to get a cool breeze off the water," Perry said.

She said she's getting through one day at a time, but at least one fan would be a blessing for her and her family.

To pick up a fan, bring your I. D. and social security card to the Salvation Army. It's also accepting all kinds of fans - box fans, desk fans, new or used.

The Salvation Army on Franklin also offers its gym as a cooling station Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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