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Community helps to keep local elders safe during hot weather

Community helps to keep local elders safe during hot weather

As summer started off with this stifling and dangerous heat, Channel 3 News asked your help to keep some of our neighbors safe.

Hundreds of seniors are resting easier because of your kindness.

"It was an older man, but he was so sweet. And he was stating how he got out of the hospital and it was hot and he needed help with services. So, I was like, 'I've got to go out there and donate something,'" explained Tamara Grimsley.

So many of you saw the news stories and you came to help. Thousands of seniors in our communities were facing a long hot summer with no air conditioning.

"Everybody needs help and I'm able to help so I came out. You know, with the help of Channel 3, we wouldn't have known about it. So, I came out and bought an air conditioner for somebody who needs it," said Craig Devack.

"I used to deliver Meals On Wheels. I love the organizations that take care of the older people and if they can stay in their homes, they need to be cool," said Debbie Barnard.

As well as keeping them cool, there was the concern for keeping them safe. A lot of times their bodies can't adapt to the extreme heat and humidity. The medications they take can make that an even bigger challenge.

For a large number of these seniors, there is no escape.

"We suffered through no air conditioning after hurricanes. We know what that's like; we go sit in the car and some people don't have cars to sit in. I sure understand that," said Dr. Thomas Ferretti.

There was a tremendous outpouring of understanding and compassion. One by one, donors came to give what they could to have an impact on a someone's life they didn't even know. We're blessed to live in a community like that.

"My wife and I talked about it and we wanted to come out here. We know what kind of good the Council on Aging does. In this kind of weather, an air conditioner will make a big difference. That's why we came," said Vince Whibbs Jr.

At the end of the 12-hour Senior Chill Out campaign, you had provided 286 fans, 269 air conditioners and $14,500 in cash. Volunteers wasted no time in getting the units installed. Donations are still greatly appreciated as there are lots of seniors still needing help.

"It hurts my heart. I know how it is when people don't have it because we grew up without it, you know. But, nevertheless, I'm in a position now where, you know, I'm going to make somebody happy and comfortable, that's it," said Eileen Miller.

For the hundreds who are safer today because of your kindness, we say, "thank you."

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.

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