PATH Holds Annual Fan Drive

An East Texas organization is holding a collection to help the needy during the hot summer months.  PATH has started its yearly fan drive.

Gladys Wroten, 53, has requested assistance from the program because she cannot afford her monthly, air conditioning bill.  She says the heat is not only uncomfortable, it affects her health.  "I need to basically stay at a certain temperature for the medication that I take to keep me from getting sick and having to go back to the hospital," said Wroten.

Wrote is one of the hundreds of people expected to get a fan from PATH this year. Wroten is disabled and just got home from the hospital. The temperature in her home today:  82 degrees. "I do have an air conditioner and it doesn't circulate into the other room," says Wroten.   "When I cooked and heat up the kitchen it gets too hot in there."

PATH started its drive last week and so far, about 25 fans have been collected.  Tracy Richardson, 53, brought two fans in this morning. "I know how hot it gets in East Texas and I know that we've been blessed with having air conditioning in our home and having money to pay the electric bill and I know many people don't have that blessing," said Richardson.

Officials with PATH say it's important for East Texans to realize the impact a $10 fan can have on someone's life. "We all know how hot it is and you see in the summertime stories on the news about don't leave your children in the car. Don't leave your pets in the car. It gets so hot. Well, just think of elderly people or children or really anybody in the home in the same exact situation," said PATH Director of Special Projects Martha Kerns.

If you'd like to help, you can drop off a fan at PATH on Front Street in Tyler between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. You can also mail monetary donations to help buy fans to that same address. The drive lasts though the end of the summer.

Oralia Ortega reporting,