The Cherokee County Volunteer Aging Council’s fan drive is expected to serve at least 200 customers this year, Chairman Benny Carter said.
Carter said in “normal” years, the need has been between 100 and 150 customers.
“It looks like the summer weather is here earlier,” Carter said, adding the Cherokee County Senior Center has already been receiving calls for help.
The drive provides the county’s senior citizens with fans during the summer months. The fans are distributed through the Cherokee County Senior Services’ Meals on Wheels program. The Volunteer Aging Council raises money for senior services.
Carter said seniors who typically choose fans either don’t have central air conditioning or have a window unit and use a fan to compliment the unit’s efforts.
Two types of fans are purchased: a large, box fan and a smaller fan to sit on a small table. Each recipient can choose which fan would suit him or her.
Nathan Brandon, director of the county senior services, also said some seniors have been hesitant to run their air conditioning due to the potentially high cost.
“I think the economic situation plays into it,” he said of the increased demand.
Stacy Trout, an information assistant and caregiver specialist with senior services, said many of the seniors who request fans are near or below the poverty line and don’t have family support to get air conditioning.
She said the Volunteer Aging Council has “helped in so many ways to help the seniors who need” fans.
Brandon also said seniors who don’t participate in the Meals on Wheels program can call and ask to have a fan brought to their home, adding they don’t do any screening or background checks.
He also said County Coroner Earl Darby, a Volunteer Aging Council member, will sometimes deliver fans to homes.
Both Brandon and Carter said they hope many Cherokee residents step up to the plate to help seniors, who are usually on fixed incomes.
Carter added that in a county that’s “blessed” in so many ways, residents can afford to give back to their less fortunate older counterparts.
“It’s a great way to share what you have with a less fortunate individual,” he said.