HAMLET — With temperatures continuing to sit in the upper 90s this summer, Richmond County Aging Services has been on the lookout for more box fans, and Steel Wheels Riding Club rode in to the rescue.
As a part of Operation Fan Heat Relief, Steel Wheels member Joey Bostick dropped off five fans to the Hamlet Senior Center on Friday as a donation to the cause.
“The fans are for seniors 60 and older,” said Hamlet Senior Center Director Nikki Sewell. “It helps provide older adults with fans during the summer. You wanna give them to someone that definitely needs it.”
Although the fans will most likely be distributed to seniors in the community that are in need, Bostick said his Hamlet-based riding club wanted to give back to the town they help represent.
“We’re Hamlet. We’re in Hamlet so we wanna give back to Hamlet,” he said. “We wanted to help out where we’re at.”
Bostick had previously helped out with the operation in June as a member of the Ellerbe Lions Club when they donated several fans to be given away at the Aging Services office on Lawrence Street in Rockingham.
Jacqueline Welch, executive director of Richmond County Aging Services, said 41 fans had been received in June, but were given away very quickly. A waiting list for potential future fan owners has already been made.
“They are intended to provide a more comfortable living environment and reduce heat-related illnesses such as heat strokes,” Welch said in June. “Elderly people can become disoriented by the heat. A lot of people sit in their homes and maybe can’t afford to run the air, so they don’t realize how hot it’s getting. The fans keep them cooler.”
Richmond County residents age 60 and up who “have a home situation where a threat to health and well-being exists” can bring their most recent power bill and a photo ID to the Hamlet Senior Center, 102 Veterans Drive, or the Aging Services office at 225 S. Lawrence St. if they are in need of a fan.
With temperatures expected to hover around triple digits, seniors will continue to be in need of heat relief. Bostick hopes others will get in on the cause.
“I’m a competitive guy,” he said. “We challenge anybody to match us.”
To donate new-in-box fans, call the Hamlet Senior Center at 910-582-7985, Richmond County Aging Services at 910-997-4491 or visit either office. Hours for Hamlet are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Aging Services hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-817-2674 and follow him on Twitter @mattyharrelson.