PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The temperatures are high across Arkansas, and a heat advisory is in effect. That heat can be dangerous if people are not careful.
That is why Pastor Phillip Miller is opening the doors of East Side Baptist Church in Paragould to offer people some relief from the heat.
The church opened the cooling center Wednesday and will be open the rest of the week from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
Miller said church volunteers will be there Wednesday through Friday to welcome anyone looking for a cold place to stay.
During the first day, the church saw a few people looking for relief from the heat.
"It was a little slower than we anticipated because of the rain, it cooled things off. People were trickling in though and we probably had about ten people," Volunteer Katrina Miller said.
The church asked for donations of water, Gatorade and box fans to give people so they can stay hydrated and cool even after the church closes for the day.
"We put out the plea of what we needed and people just showed up and dropped off and delivered. We are happy with the donations," Katrina Miller said.
Pastor Miller said when he saw temperatures could climb to over 100 degrees this week, he knew he had to do something to help.
"There has got to be something we can do because some people don't have air conditioning," Miller said. "You know I am sitting here in my air-conditioned office, and I have a home to go home to, and I thought the least we could do would be to provide people with a cool spot."
He said if anyone would still like to donate cases of water or Gatorade they can drop them off at the church anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Box fan donations can also be dropped off at the church.
Miller said the church will reevaluate the hours after they see how this week goes and what the forecast is.
He would like to open the cooling center anytime temperatures are high.
Katrina Miller said she thinks more will come and enjoy the cooling center as the word gets out.
"As the word gets spread we hope we will be able to help a lot of people and help them to have a place to cool off and get something to drink and get a fan. If they don't have air conditioning we would be glad to give them a fan," Miller said.
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