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From the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, shared May 12:

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RALEIGH—Operation Fan/Heat Relief, a summer fan distribution program that operates each year throughout North Carolina, is now under way. This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the program that began in 1986 and is managed by the Division of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

“For many years, Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Progress Energy and the Valassis Giving Committee have donated generously to support this important program,” Dennis Streets, DAAS Director said. “The program is successful because of the concerted efforts of the 17 regional Area Agencies on Aging and the local aging and adult service provider agencies which purchase and make fans available to eligible people.”

Last year, donations totaled $135,500, and with these funds, 8,435 fans and 83 air conditions were distributed. In certain counties, air conditioners are made available for people with more serious health problems. There is no public money associated with this project.

People who are 60 or older or people with disabilities are eligible to receive one fan per year to help alleviate heat problems within their home. “This is much more than a comfort issue as it really helps protect the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable citizens living in communities across North Carolina,” Streets said.

More information on local provider agencies distributing the fans can be found on the Web, by calling the regional Area Agency on Aging or by contacting a local aging agency.

Editor’s note: The Area Agencies on Aging covering the 17 westernmost counties of North Carolina are:

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  • The Southwestern Commission Area Agency on Aging in Sylva serves Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. (828) 586-1962, http://www.regiona.org.
  • The Land-of-Sky Regional Council in Asheville serves Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties. (828) 251-6622,  http://www.landofsky.org/.
  • The Isothermal Planning & Development Commission in Rutherfordton serves Cleveland, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties. (828) 287-2281, http://www.regionc.org.
  • The High Country Council of Governments in Boone serves Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties. (828) 265-5434, http://www.regiond.org.

Kathleen O'Nan

Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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