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Summer cooling program gives air conditioning units to needy

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By Kayla Pickrell, Intern

With the usual excitement of summer comes blazing temperatures and humid air. 

For some, an air conditioning unit could be vital to living. 

The Summer Cooling program at the Community Action Council provides air conditioning units to those in Harrison, Bourbon, Nicholas and Fayette counties who cannot afford the units on their own. 

To receive a unit, the family must fall under the necessary federal eligibility requirements that a family of four doesn’t make over $3,975 a month. The family must also have a doctor’s note stating it is essential for someone in the family to have air conditioning.

Summer Cooling relies 100 percent on donations, whether monetary or in the form of air conditioning units.

“We have the program as long as we have the funds,” said Cameron Minter, the communications manager for the Community Action Council. 

The University of Kentucky donated approximately 200 units to the entire program this year to be used among the four counties.

In 2013, approximately 49 units were given out the entire year. Because of the large donation, the requirement of a doctor’s note was taken out. As of June 2014, 217 units were given out this year, 53 have been in Harrison County, Minter said.

Minter believes the spike in need of units was because of the drop of the doctor’s note from requirements, making more people eligible to receive.

Now that the donated units from UK have been used, the doctor’s note requirement is effective again starting July 1. 

“I do expect the numbers to drop, but I don’t expect them to drop completely off,” Minter said.

Minter said $100 gives a home an air conditioning unit. 

“We’re back to purchasing the air conditioning units,” Minter said. “We need donations to get through the rest of the summer.”

Not only does Summer Cooling take donations for air conditioning units, but they take donations to  help others pay off utility bills.

 “Winter was so hard this year that some families are still trying to pay off their electricity bills,” Minter said.