5's Fans for Friends: Valley families in need of fans amid summer heat
Channel 5 News and Azteca Valle have teamed up with the Salvation Army and H-E-B for another year of our 5’s Fans for Friends campaign.
Every year, Channel 5 News and our partners collect fans and distribute them to families in need. Esmeralda Garza, a mom of six, is one of those families.
One of Garza’s daughters recently underwent heart surgery and in an effort to keep her comfortable and cool for a speedy recovery, Garza turned to the Salvation Army for help.
"The heat is very bad right now,” Garza said in Spanish. “I have an AC unit at home that doesn't cool us down enough and it's not until 8 p.m. or after that the house begins to cool down inside.”
Garza wants to put a fan in her home to circulate fresh, cool air.
"To keep the house cool, what we do is mop the floor, so the freshness can be felt in the air," Garza said.
Adolph Aguirre, the commanding officer of the Salvation Army in McAllen, says circumstances similar to Garza's are common throughout the Valley.
"People who are on fixed incomes, people living below the poverty line that cannot afford an AC system for the house, so they have window unit ACs,” Aguirre said. “Much of those window units just focus on the one room, isolated, and so they use the fans to circulate that air to the rest of the house.”
Every year, the staff distributes hundreds of box fans to people in need of relief from the summer heat as part of the 5’s Fans For Friends campaign, a partnership with Channel 5 News and Azteca Valle. This year, Salvation Army volunteers anticipate more than 600 families will show up for the annual fan distribution.
"With inflation now, it’s just made everything so much more expensive,” Aguirre said. “They are actually allocating their resources just to food so they can survive. So, your support in helping them actually provides them a bit of a quality of life.”
Garza shared her story with the hope people will donate to the 5's Fans for Friends campaign to help her family and others in need like her daughter.
"I think there are good people out there who will bless us with their help, because there is good people and it would be a big help for us,” Garza said. “Not just for me but for other people too who will come and ask for help.”