Record heat and a pandemic drive need during 30th annual Summer Fan Drive

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) – As the 30th year of the Family Eldercare and KXAN’s Summer Fan Drive begins, the shadow of the COVID pandemic looms. According to Virginia Larson with Family Eldercare, demand is expected to increase for fans as layoffs caused by the pandemic put more families at risk of losing their utilities.

“There’s been a lot more families that have come in because of those layoffs,” Larson said.

This Friday, Family Eldercare is holding the Fan Drop Off Parade. This event will collect fans at four locations across Austin. Donors will be able to drive up and donate a fan or funds. Safety precautions will be taken at each site, including masks, social distancing and sanitizing donations.

For 30 years, the Summer Fan Drive has collected and donated fans to seniors and adults with disabilities throughout Central Texas.

“Heat is the number one weather-related killer, which is really sad because people are silently suffering at home, not knowing there are fans available through Family Eldercare Summer Fan Drive,” Larson says.

A box fan, according to Larson, costs ten cents a day to run. For families struggling to pay for their utilities, this might be a better option. 66% of the fan drive’s clients are food insecure, while 45% have said they have felt sick because of the heat at some point in their lives.

In 2018, KXAN distributed the 100,000th fan to a senior for the organization.

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