On Monday, June 20, 2011, over 400 residents of McKinney benefitted from the annual “Beat the Heat” event. Representatives of 158 families arrived at the McKinney Fire Station on McDonald to receive free box fans to use during these dog days of summer when temperatures are reaching triple digits.
The gift of the fans was made possible through partnership with Community Lifeline Center, the McKinney Fire Department, and the McKinney Lions Club. The CLC purchased fans with grant monies funded by TXU Energy.
A total of 343 fans were taken home to the 158 residences. Most of those homes house more than two people, so the impact will be great. Even some who have air conditioning were delighted to get a fan – or two – because they refrain from using the air conditioning. One woman interviewed by NBC commented that she keeps her thermostat set at 85 degrees because she can’t pay the electric bill if she keeps the house cooler than that.
Others don’t have air conditioning. Executive Director of the Community Lifeline Center Christine Hockin-Boyd said, “One woman wouldn’t let go of my hand as, with tears in her eyes, she wanted to thank me for ‘saving her life.’”
In addition to handing out fans, fire department personnel asked a few questions. In response, 29 families requested smoke alarm checks or installs. In these 29 homes, a total of 109 residents will be safer after the Fire Department has a chance to follow-up on these requests.
The Community Lifeline Center’s slogan is ‘A community stands tallest when it kneels to offer a helping hand.’ Indeed, these partners in the “Beat the Heat” program – and those who made donations to support it – can indeed stand tall.
— By Linda Wilcox