The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 1, 2012

Heat wave leads to acts of kindness

The News Courier

— As they did when 9 inches of snow fell and when seven twisters struck, Limestone Countians have once again shown their neighborliness.

These residents have done more than sweat during the heat wave.

They have donated 18 new air-conditioning units and 25 to 30 fans to the elderly and homebound county residents in the past two days.

On Wednesday, Sandra Zirbel, director of the Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound, told The News Courier at least 10 residents age 60 and older or homebound needed air-conditioning units or fans.

She said many clients are living on a fixed income and do not have additional money to buy an air-conditioning unit.

“The response from the community was tremendous,” Zirbel said Friday. “In addition to the air conditioners and fans, some people gave cash donations, so now we are good.”

Any air conditioners not used this year will be saved for next summer, Zirbel said.  Volunteers were already braving the 100-degree temperatures to install the units, she said.

“We’ve got some gentlemen helping us putting them in,” she said.

With temperatures expected to reach more than 100 degrees through Monday, the kindness of strangers is timely.

“I want to thank the community so much for the outpouring,” Zirbel said.

We do, as well.

We have seen so many instances of kindness over the past few years, when weather has wreaked havoc on loved ones and homes.

As this terrible heat wave continues, keep those neighbors in mind. Be sure to check on elderly friends and family members and do not let children or pets spend too much time in the heat.

Also, be careful when throwing cigarette butts or shooting fireworks.

These dangerously dry conditions are perfect for a tragedy and we must avoid that.

We are proud that Limestone Countians never fail to come to the aid of their neighbors.