As a child growing up we didn't have central air. Heck, there were a couple of years after my parents bought the house I grew up in where they didn't even have a window unit for the living room. And a little later in life I survived the Chicago heatwave of 1995 without air too. Those were the times my trusty box fan helped me keep my sanity. And now's our chance to help keep some folks cool in West Central Missouri with a free fan this summer.

Westlake Ace Hardware and The Salvation Army have partnered to give fans to low-income seniors, qualified families with kids, and adults with disabilities so they can stay cool in the heat of the summer.

These days in many places I've lived central air conditioning is just a given. That just isn't the case in West Central Missouri. Home rentals are big in our area. And I found many homes for rent didn't come with central air, or even an air conditioner.

We can help the hardware store and The Salvation Army purchase fans for those in need by rounding up your purchase when you buy something from Westlake Ace Hardware from now until June 20. Or you can make a donation online here.

Westlake Ace says the program started at one of their stores in Hutchinson, Kansas and has grown to more than 100 stores throughout the country. The store has provided The Salvation Army 38,700 through the store's fan drive. The Salvation Army says all money given stays in the local communities where it's donated.

Summer heat can be just miserable. Especially if you have limited opportunities to get out of it throughout the summer. A fan can be a lifesaver for those who need it. I hope you'll consider making a donation.

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