Some residents in the Walnut Cove area will have a cooler summer thanks to the generosity of employees at the Duke Energy Belews Creek Steam Station who raised over $600 to help provide fans to needy families in the area.
Duke Energy Community Relations Manager Lisa Parrish said employees had been raising money to purschase fans to be distributed by the East Stokes Outreach Ministry for the past 15 years, noting that this year the employees were able to doante 39 fans.
“This is huge,” said East Stokes Outreach Ministry Executive Director Marchelle Brown. “Most fo the families that come here do not have air conditioning and when you are on a very tight budget you are not even able to buy a fan. $20 to $25 takes money right out of your pocket from what you would have been paying for bills.”
She said the food pantry is careful to only distribute the fans to patrons who have medical issues that wil be impacted by high summer temperatures.
“We served 33 families on Wednesday, so if we were to give a fan to each person they would be gone imeadiately,” she said. “We try to give them to peopel who are elderly, sick, disabled or have children with asthma. We usually manage to make them last for a couple of months.”
Parrish said the company also helps with cooling assitance in a variety of ther ways including donating money to the Salvation Army to help peopel pay their electric bills and donating $352 to the Stokes OCunty Senior Services to help purchase fans for senior citizens.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.