Project ElderCool helps low-income elderly stay cool and safe during summer heat

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A local organization is helping elderly citizens stay cool this summer.

This is the 15th summer for the Bishop Sullivan Center’s Project ElderCool. This program began in 2000 after 21 people died in the heat the year before. It targets low-income senior citizens who don’t have a way to cool down their homes in the summer.

“Especially people who have health conditions that make it tougher for them to function,” Maria Antonia, Communications Director of Bishop Sullivan Center said. “The last thing we want is for someone to be sitting at home suffering.”

Terry Wiggins of Kansas City, Kan., received a window unit this summer. He is currently battling stage three cancer and found himself in a hot house after treatment.

“Without this air conditioner, I don't know what I'd do,” he said. “I spent most of my time in the basement because it was coolest.”

Seeing volunteers install an air conditioner brought Wiggins to tears. He is among the 60 people so far this summer to receive a unit.

This year, thanks to help from program sponsor Kansas City Power and Light, Bishop Sullivan Center is able to buy larger, more efficient units. AB May and Goodcents Subs and Pastas are also sponsors of the program this year.

In addition to providing and installing the window air conditioner, Bishop Sullivan Center also deposits $100 into a qualified individual’s electric account.

All of this is made possible by sponsors and donations from the community.

If you’d like to help or need more information, visit the Project ElderCool section on the Bishop Sullivan Center’s website.

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