July 6, 2010

We Need Fans!

This week, as temperatures once again soar into the triple digits, just try to imagine summertime in D.C. without air-conditioning: the stifling heat, difficulties sleeping, dehydration and other issues that can arise from living without cool air circulation are nothing to laugh at. Thankfully, most of us will never have to experience these problems. However, our clients at Bread for the City are not always so lucky. Air-conditioning is expensive, and for many of our clients it can be unattainable.

Low-income residents of D.C. are disproportionately affected by the heat and the accompanying poor air quality, and have very few options for escaping such harmful environments. As we’ve noted on Beyond Bread before, the health impact of high temperatures can be severe. It is only the beginning of July, and the D.C. Metropolitan area has already recorded more heat-related deaths than took place in all of 2009. In the District, the month of June was the hottest on record, and the forecast for the next few weeks looks just as warm.

Bread for the City has to move fast to respond to these challenges; the weather waits for no one! In order to meet the needs of our clients living without AC, we are holding an electric fan drive at our Northwest center and we urgently need your help. There are so many ways for you to help us get fans out to our clients: organize a drive at your office or church, go through your own closets for fans that you never use, or get some new fans on your next shopping trip. Whichever way works for you, we desperately need your help to collect fans here at Bread for the City so that our clients can get safely and comfortably through the summer.

The next time you feel the relief of stepping into an air-conditioned building, at work or at home, remember those people in your community and city who do not get to experience that feeling. You can make a huge, material difference in the quality of life and the health of our clients this summer by donating an electric fan to Bread for the City.

Fan donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm at BFC’s Northwest Center, located at 1525 Seventh Street, NW. Questions? Please contact Kristen Kozlowski at 202-386-7612 or kkozlowski@breadforthecity.org.

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