DALLAS — The Texas heat in the summer can be deadly, and, there are thousands of families who desperately need an air conditioner. A local church is stepping up, and donating them to those who need them most, but their help has already been stretched to the limit.
Pastor Chris Simmons, from Corner Stone Baptist Church in South Dallas, told WFAA how he read e-mail after e-mail from families in need.
“I’m a former special needs teacher who is need of help. I’m disabled since 2010," Simmons listed off, recalling the pleas he would receive.
But it's not only been emails from families, he's gotten phone calls, as well, sharing why they desperately need the units.
So, last week, the church posted on Facebook saying, “free A/C units for needy families.”
“We make it a priority to assist families with sick, and elderly,” Simmons explained.
The program started about seven years ago, after an anonymous donor was watching the news and he heard about an elderly woman who died because she didn’t have an air conditioner.
“He made it his mission to provide A/C units to families that are in need, to make sure they would not have to perish that way again,” Simmons said.
The program has been so successful, that all of the 250 air conditioners have been given away families in need, forcing it to be put on hold, Simmons explained.
On Tuesday, WFAA FaceTimed with Angela Haron, who was diagnosed with Stage 2 lymphoma. Because she's a cancer patient, she is staying close to home to stay health while undergoing treatment. She spoke while she was doing chemotherapy.
“When it’s in the triple digits, it’s overwhelming,” Heron described.
She said her kids try to get creative to stay cool, and play in the water in their front yard.
“We got outside and ran the hose over ourselves," she explained.
But Haron’s story of needing an air conditioner resonates with thousands of others in need.
“Please give, so they can get the A/C to people like myself," she implored. "I’m sick, and I can’t go anywhere to stay cool."
Though the program is on hold, there are still dozens of people a day that are calling and asking for an air conditioner. Those who would like to help can visit www.cornerstonedallas.org and click on the "Give" button on the right.