125 seniors feeling 'cool breeze' after program's help

      By Gregory{}

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Project Cool Breeze handed out another 125 air conditions Saturday to seniors in need.

      Betsy Shands says her 88-year-old mother hasn't had an air conditioner in her home for more than five years.

      "When it gets hot, I drive all the way from Moncks Corner to Pineville to bring her to my house," said Shands.

      Shands says when Project Cool Breeze started the application process this year, she didn't hesitate to fill one out.

      "When I filled out the application I had all of my trust in Jesus because my mother really needed that AC. When they called I was jumping for joy because I know my prayers had been answered," Shands said.

      On Saturday, Shands drove her mother Viola Bowens to Brittlebank Park two hours early to make sure she was one of the first in line to get an air conditioner.

      "I left home at 1 p.m.," said Shands. "I had to make sure I get my mother her AC."

      State Rep. Wendell Gilliard started the program 15 years ago to help seniors like Bowens endure the summer heat.

      "Anytime we are in mid-summer like this our seniors need help," said Gilliard. "Many of them can't afford an air conditioner so that's why we have to step in and do our part."

      Thanks to Gilliard, Bowens walked away with a hundred-dollar air system courtesy of Lowes.

      Gilliard says the nonprofit is trying to have three more giveaways this summer. For people who are 55 years old or older or people who would like to donate to the cause, call 843-720-1987 to connect with the nonprofit.

      For the past 15 years, Project Cool Breeze has given away 10,000 air conditioners to elderly people in need.