Catholic Charities will again partner with the City of San Antonio Department of Human Services, San Antonio Fire Department, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County in Project Cool, a program that provides free box fans to senior citizens in an effort to prevent heat-related illness and deaths during the hot summer months in San Antonio.
The program kicked off June 1 with a press conference and fan distribution. Present at the event were J. Antonio Fernández, president/CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of San Antonio; Melody Woosley, director of the Department of Human Services for the City of San Antonio; District 5 City Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales; Fire Chief Charles Hood, Barbara Ward, Board president of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul; and Brandyn Moore-Rodriguez, vice president of Community Relations and Volunteer Initiatives for United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County.
The goal of the program is to provide 5,000 fans as a low-cost, low-energy means to keep seniors cool without incurring high utility bills.
Celebrating its 22nd season, Project Cool is still going strong with organizations hosting fan drives and volunteers distributing the fans to isolated seniors. The program reduces costs for seniors on a fixed income but also enables seniors to remain independent and maintain the quality of life.
Lizzy Nemeth, executive director at Guadalupe Community Center, says, “We worry about our low-income, senior population who live in homes with no central air conditioning, who live on a fixed income, and who live in isolation. Project Cool gives our volunteers an opportunity to visit with those seniors to alleviate the heat. We value our seniors for their contribution to our community, so we want to make sure they are living comfortably, especially during the hot summer months.”
Donations of boxed fans can be dropped off at Guadalupe Community Center, 1801 W. César E. Chávez Blvd. Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donated fans will be collected by the San Antonio Fire Department all summer long. Seniors who are registered in the City of San Antonio, Department of Human Services senior centers and who enroll with Catholic Charities may get a fan at a senior center. Seniors and others who are not registered at a senior center may call the United Way Helpline at 2-1-1 to request a fan and will be referred to the nearest St. Vincent de Paul distribution site, along with the Guadalupe Community Center.
📷 Veronica Markland | Today’s Catholic Newspaper