Local nonprofit give seniors free fans, AC units

By Gregory

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Project Cool Breeze has given out more than 6,000 air conditioners to seniors suffering in the heat during Lowcountry summers.

Monday, the nonprofit kicked off its 15th year of service.

"Last year we gave out somewhere around 425 free AC units," said the founder of the nonprofit, state Rep. Wendell Gilliard. "We want to serve everybody, on average we get anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 phone calls from seniors who need our services,"

Each AC unit comes from Lowe's and costs more than $100, but Project Cool Breeze foots the bill.

"We give out AC units that will cool about a 10x15 room, about 150 square feet. A ceiling fan helps create a little more circulation where you can probably cool about two rooms in a small dwelling area," said Jason Hall, the store manager of the West Ashley Lowe's.

The first distribution of air conditioning units will be at the West Ashley Lowe's.

"This is a healthcare issue, a lot of seniors are coming under what we would call extreme hot heat index, and they need help. Rather it's an economic situation or a social situation Project Cool Breeze is here to help," said Rep. Gilliard.

The nonprofit is still accepting donations. To donate, call 720-1998. To qualify for a fan or air unit, you have to be 60 years or older and fill out an application.