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SAFD, Catholic Charities Kick Off The Summer With Project Cool

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Cervisa Semano and Rachel Ayala pick up their fans from the Project Cool kickoff.

Senior citizens and families who need some cool air this summer are receiving help from Project Cool, an effort to distribute box fans throughout San Antonio.

As the summer months begin, San Antonians are looking for ways to beat the heat. Project Cool began 19 years ago between Catholic Charities, the San Antonio Fire Department, St. Vincent de Paul and other organizations. Catholic Charities President Antonio Fernandez said as the program kicks off, 20-inch box fans are needed.

“We really ask them to be new. We don’t want used ones because it could be a huge liability for people," Fernandez said. "New fans we will take all the time.”

Last year, 1,500 fans were collected and this year they expect 2,000. SAFD Deputy Chief Carl Wedige said every year the department receives numerous calls for heat incidences.

“Our paramedics are out there on a daily basis throughout the summer and we continually see heat-related injuries out there and we feel it's our responsibility to keep the our citizens safe,” Wedige said.

74-year-old Rosa Montez is one of the seniors picking up a fan from the projects kickoff at the Guadalupe Community Center. She says she uses them all around the house.

“I don’t have a window in the kitchen and I use it to cool myself when I’m cooking," Montez said. "It help’s a lot when I'm cooking. I have an air-conditioner but it’s small one but I only put it when it’s real hot because I can’t afford to pay so much.”

To donate a fan, you can take one to any fire station from June 3-September 30. It will then be taken to the appropriate distribution channel. To receive one, call 211 for city health and human services.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules