SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Local law enforcement officers in Sharp County are working to make sure the elderly stay cool this summer.
Kelly Morgan with Above and Beyond Home Care said she reached out to a Sharp County sheriff's deputy for help when she ran into him at lunch.
"A deputy happened to say are you staying cool, and that was my lead in to say well, as a matter of fact, I have some people that are not staying cool and it just snow balled from there," Morgan said.
Morgan asked if Sheriff Mark Counts knew of any grants she could apply for to get fans for the elderly.
Instead of giving her grant ideas, Counts said he could help.
"When she told me about this project and helping the elderly, you know that is who raised me and it is time for us to give back. It is time for the younger generation to give back and take care of the older folks and it is just an honor to help," Counts said.
Morgan said she needed about 12 fans for elderly clients she knew needed immediate help.
"In some of these mobile homes they become a tin can in this heat," Morgan said. "When it is upper 90's, inside there without any circulation it can get to 120 degrees inside there real quick."
Counts reached out to the public and the Highland Police Department to help collect fans.
"Within an hour and fifteen minutes we had 38 fans donated and a window air conditioning unit so it is exciting to see the county come together and help," Counts said.
Counts said he knew the importance of providing some relief for elderly people in this extreme heat.
"It has been extremely hot and we worry about the elderly. We had an older gentleman in Evening Shade that passed away last week out in the yard so you worry about them as hot as it is," Counts said. "So if we can help with something as small as a fan then it is well worth it."
Morgan and others at Above and Beyond Home Care were blown away by the amount of fans the department collected in such a short amount of time.
She told Region 8 News people do not know how important these fans are to those who don't have air conditioning.
"The heat puts them at serious risk for heat stroke, heat sickness and even death," Morgan said.
Highland Police Chief Shane Russell said he was glad to help in the project.
"Anytime that we can step up and give back to the community to help our neighbors is what we are called to do," Russell said.
He also said it was great to see how willing people in the community were to help their neighbors.
"It didn't take long, people stepped up and donated. Not only people but businesses we went to also reduced the price," Russell said.
Counts said the department will continue this project throughout the summer so they can help as many people in need as possible.
"We want to keep the project going, it is exciting to see our community come together. We are blessed to live in Sharp County, a county that is willing to step forward and help," Counts said.
Counts said anyone needing a fan can contact the department for one and those willing to donate can drop them off at the department.
Counts said several people at the sheriff's department and police department helped collect the fans, along with several community and business leaders.
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