Dripping Springs resident Kay Allen understands how a small town post office can also function as a networking hub.
Several months ago, Allen, along with resident Charles Looney, crafted a plan in the Dripping Springs post office to distribute fans to those in need during the summer months.
Starting Friday, Allen, Looney and many other volunteers are preparing to partner with Family Eldercare of Austin for a weekly fan drive in Dripping Springs that will run through the end of August.
Allen said inspiration for the drive began when she watched Jim Spencer, a local television weatherperson, advocate for Family Eldercare fan drives.
The drives, which have been going on for 27 years in the Austin area, provide donated fans at no cost to senior citizens, disabled residents, and those who have children in order to beat the deadly summer heat.
However, after researching Family Eldercare, Allen realized the only Hays County distribution sites were in San Marcos. She felt there might be people in the western part of Hays County who could use this service.
“For some of the people that may need it here, it’s a long drive (to San Marcos) and it be out of the question for them to get a fan,” Allen said.
Allen, who is the city of Dripping Springs’ emergency planning coordinator, began reaching out to area non-profits, including Helping Hands, The Friends Foundation and the Hill Country Senior Activity Center.
The group then reached out to Family Eldercare, which agreed to partner for a northwestern Hays County distribution center.
So far, the group has received 30 donated fans for distribution. Looney, who is the food pantry coordinator at Helping Hands, said creating the drive was a group effort and everyone is thrilled for the experience.
While Looney wasn’t sure what to expect the first day of the drive, he said there is a need for box fans in the Dripping Springs area.
Allen said extreme heat is the fifth highest natural hazard in Hays County. In Dripping Springs’ update of its hazard mitigation plan, one of the recommended actions was establishing a fan drive for those in need, Allen said.
“Fans can only do so much, but it can mitigate the danger,” she said.
The Dripping Springs Free Fan distribution
Every Friday from July 28 to August 25 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Helping Hands Pantry (28900 Ranch Road 12)
Do you qualify?
Recipients must be over age 55 or be disabled and receiving disability benefits or be in a household with children under 18 years of age. Recipients must also have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. Proof of income and a photo ID must also be presented. To find out if you or someone you know is eligible, you can call the fan drive hotline at 512-459-4326.