Life Without AC Can Become Intolerable

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

July 18, 2005

If you had to be outside for more than a few minutes today, than you know exactly how hot it is. Hot weather can be dangerous to anyone, from the elderly to small children, especially those without air conditioners.

For some unlucky people, its unbearable. "It's so hot, it's hard to get up sometimes," said mother-of-four Zaneta Lowe.

Every morning Zaneta Lowe wakes up to a hot, muggy apartment with no air conditioning.

"[It's] very humid, no air at all. Unless, like I said, the fan is directly on you, that's about all the air you're getting," said Lowe.

With blistering temperatures soaring into the 90s like today, all this mother has to rely on are fans,. Not only can the heat be downright uncomfortable, but in some cases it can pose a health risk.

"People that have heart conditions, kidney disease, diabetes, kids with asthma, a myriad of health issues are really exacerbated--made more serious--potentially by high heat and humidity," said David White, Annual Campaign Manager for JABA.

David White works with the Jefferson Area Board for Aging to help people of all ages with documented medical problems get free AC units. Every year, their 'Cool-Aid' program provides between 75 and 100 lower-income residents with well-needed AC.

"Air conditioning, it sounds like a luxury, but for those with a health issue, it's more than that," said White.

Zaneta's medical history doesn't qualify her for the 'Cool-Aid' program , and until she can afford to shell out the 200 bucks for her own unit, a little cool air is something she can only wish for.

"It would mean a lot to get an AC, a lot. Just something to go in my living room to make it a little cooler for me and my kids; it would mean a lot," said Lowe.

To donate money or an air conditioning unit to JABA, call 434-817-5222 or stop by the Albemarle First Bank on Route 29 North on Friday, July 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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