COLUMBIA – It should come as no surprise in the middle of an early Missouri heat wave that the Voluntary Action Center's fan program is in dire need of donations.
This year, the center has already distributed over 100 fans and needs more, said Cindy Mustard, executive director of the Voluntary Action Center. The organization would like to serve at least 200 families this summer.
For 20 years, the Voluntary Action Center has been distributing fans to low-income households with infants and young children, pregnant moms, the elderly and the disabled in Boone County in an effort to aid groups identified as being vulnerable to the heat.
“Basically, when you talk about people living without many luxuries or living from month to month, a fan costs a little money,” Mustard said. “It’s nice to be able to provide them with a fan.”
Fan recipients must meet income guidelines and be part of the targeted group. People must be at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, that would be roughly an income of $25,000 to $27,000, Mustard said.
The fan program is a donation-based program that relies on support from the community. Contributions can be made in the form of new fans, second-hand fans in good condition and cash donations.
The fan program is to run all summer as long as it is hot. Fans are usually distributed through the end of August, Mustard said.
People who meet the program requirements and didn’t receive a fan last year can call the Voluntary Action Center at 874-2273 or come by the center’s office at 800 N. Providence Road in Columbia. Donations can also be mailed or dropped off at the Voluntary Action Center’s office at that address.