12 On Your Side: Free fan care assistance programs

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This heat wave is taking a toll on everyone, especially those who can't get around as easily like senior citizens. These days, representatives of the group, Senior Connections, go the extra mile checking in on the elderly making sure they're staying cool.

Jo Norton works for Senior Connections. To many she is kind of like a super hero. She's on a mission to bring comfort to the senior citizens of Richmond one fan at a time.

"It's been really busy because it's been so hot," said Norton.

Many seniors like 75-year-old Mary Elizabeth Turner who has lived in older homes for a long time - in her case 44 years in this house, have older appliances that either don't work properly or simply don't do the job.

"It's a blessing, to me this is a blessing," said Turner.

"We want to encourage them to make sure they're hydrated, make sure you drink even if you're not thirsty, make sure you stay inside as much as you can," said Norton.

The fan care program has not only helped in donating hundreds of box fans, it's given out 35 window AC units so far this summer. Not only that, Senior Connections also offers home delivered meals and in this case, Norton is checking out Turner's power bill - another program they offer - money management.

"We really enjoy seeing people getting help especially older people," said Norton.

There are other programs. The state is taking applications for its cooling assistance program through August 15th. If you qualify, you can get help paying your electric bill, repairing your AC, or getting a free fan.

For the Senior Connections fan care program - call (804) 343-3005. They also take donations.

For the state cooling assistance program, dial 211.

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