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Community shows outpouring of love for local seniors

Community shows outpouring of love for local seniors

With the heat index of 100-plus degrees, you heard the appeal for help to provide some relief to keep the elders safe from the oppressive weather. You came by the Lowe's stores and bought air conditioning units and fans or gave cash.

Michael Barberi is the owner of Barberi Heating and Air. "This is our line of business. We do heating and air conditioning and we feel that there was a need to give back a little bit so that's why we came out here," he said.

The one-day collection drive got tremendous support throughout the day. Starting early in the morning , Austin, Ladon and Joe from our 3 In the Morning news production crew were touched by the stories of seniors in need so they came by on their break to help.

People had various reasons for giving, but mostly it was just about wanting to reach out and do good for someone else. It was about compassion.

Walter Wooten and his wife have seen firsthand the plight of many senior citizens.

"We both were in social services for 40-something years. We understand the needs in our community and we are well blessed and we wanted to come out and help when we could," Wooten said.

Willie Chandler was led to donate as he has every year.

"I just believe it's the Christian thing to do; it's the right thing to do," he said. "Those who have, need to share. And if this little small thing that I can do can help someone in their struggles, then so be it."

And for Bill Trushel, his donation of 10 air conditioners was simply a matter of the heart.

"I have a soft spot for seniors in need and I try to help whenever I can," Trushel said.

At the end of the day, there would be a lot of hope going out into the community. Even after years of seeing it, John Clark, President and CEO of the Council On Aging of West Florida, is still amazed at the outpouring of love from the community.

"This year it exceeded all previous years, not only in terms of air conditioners we received but also fans; but also in terms of money too," Clark said.

And a lot of seniors are grateful for your kindness, like Betty Johnson and her brother.

"It's really for my brother. He lives in a trailer park. There are no trees," Johnson said. "It's just like a soup can and he's been hot with just one can. So, this truly is a blessing that it would really be for him because he had a stroke."

In just 12 hours, your generosity brought in 320 fans, 218 air conditioning units and 9,200 dollars in cash. Thank you.

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

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