The Salvation Army helps those in need beat the heat with water and fans
Because of the heat, the Salvation Army is asking the community to help keep those in need cool. The organization is collecting box fans and water to hand them out.
Within the past week, the community has donated at least 50 boxed fans and several dozen cases of water, but Salvation Army officials say they run out of those supplies fast.
Major Mark Smith says the heat and humidity hovering over Chattanooga could be worse, but the consistency of the heat is what poses a threat.
“Extreme heat is as dangerous for people as extreme cold especially vulnerable populations; those that live on the streets, those seniors, people low income and can't afford the air conditioning,” Smith said.
It's why water coolers are available at all times for people to drink or refill their water bottles. But it is also why the organization is collecting fans and cases of water to hand out.
“This is a simple thing that we can do to provide that. It does not take a lot of effort but it's so important,” Smith said.
Smith says without donations their mission becomes challenging. It is something Michelle and Gary Smith say they understand.
“I work outside for a living and I know how hot it is out here. People need to drink plenty of fluids while they're outside,” Gary Smith said.
It's why the couple dropped off a fan and a case of water.
“They do amazing work and we just had this and wanted to bring it down to share,” Michelle Smith said. “Every little bit helps.”
Though some in need aren't always comfortable asking for help, Major Smith says they appreciate it.
“They feel very blessed that someone would care about them to do that. They're aware that strangers are bringing these by and that means something to people. Little things show them that they do have value and we know that.”
If you wish to donate any boxed fans or water, feel free to drop off those items at the Salvation Army office on McCallie Avenue. You can also donate online by clicking here.