By Stefanie Bainum
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Beating the excessive heat is no doubt challenging. After a weekend of scorching temperatures, an excessive heat warning has been issued for Monday, meaning "feels-like" temperatures of up to 114 degrees.
But battling the near record temps can be more of a struggle for the elderly, especially those without air conditioning.
The local group, Project Cool Breeze, makes it their goal to keep senior citizens cool all summer long. The non-profit, founded by State Representative Wendell Gilliard, donates AC units and fans to people above the age of 60.
Against her doctor's order, Dorothy Smith of Charleston braved the excessive heat warning on Sunday to check on her 73-year-old Aunt, Edith Campbell.
Smith says her Aunt Edith did not have air conditioning until Project Cool Breeze flipped the switch and provided a free AC unit for the household.
"It made me feel wonderful that someone would care, that someone is out there who's willing to help and stop and give my aunt this air conditioning," Dorothy Smith said.
With unbearable temperatures in the upper 90's and heat index reaching 110 degrees, Edith Campbell says beating the heat is a matter of life or death.
"I just wouldn't know what I would do. I wouldn't know what I would do. It's a blessing to have an AC unit," Campbell said.
With temperatures outside hovering around 100 degrees, Campbell said it's so hot she can't even step foot on her front porch -- making the donation of an AC unit by Project Cool Breeze that much more important in surviving the hot summer months.
"The heat is so hot this summer and very hot outside," Campbell said. "It's important that we have something to cool us off. I just thank God for Project Cool Breeze and thank God for the people that help them."
Project Cool Breeze is endorsed by Mayor Joe Riley and NFL Atlanta Falcons player Roddy White. If you would like to donate to the effort you are asked to send a check to this address:
City of Charleston
Project Cool Breeze
116 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401
If you are, or know, an elderly person in need of air conditioning you are asked to call (843) 720-1987 for assistance.