Two separate Port Allen groups recently helped make the scalding summer a little more bearable for many residents throughout West Baton Rouge Parish, as they doled out loads of box fans to help elderly and less fortunate residents throughout the area.
GoodFellas Truck and Car Club, a non-profit organization based in Port Allen, on Monday gave 48 box fans to the West Baton Rouge Council on Aging to assist elderly parish residents who may not have access to air conditioning units, or who may lack funds to pay the electricity rates that come with running such a unit.
“It’s hot out here, and not everybody has an air conditioner, but we can give them a fan,” said Carl Joseph IV, President of GoodFellas Truck and Car Club. “We are just giving back to the community wherever we see there’s a need to give.”
Joseph said that GoodFellas, along with Wade Guillory, a teacher at Scotlandville Magnet High School, procured the fans for people in need in West Baton Rouge.
“We think it’s fantastic. There’s a great need for it. We receive very few donations now, and very few fans,” said Susannah Veilleux, Director of the WBR Council on Aging. “We used to get 100 fans a year donated, but those donations have almost diminished to, maybe, 15 fans a year, so this is really great.”
Joseph said that the GoodFellas organization chose to give the fans to the Council on Aging because they thought the council would know who to distribute the fans to.
“Instead of us just riding around town trying to figure out who’s who, they would know exactly who to give it to, so we just went straight to the Council on Aging,” he said.
Veilleux said that the Council on Aging will give the donated fans, first, to those who they believe are most in need.
“People will call us or they will come in – and we also do home visits, so we see the need,” Veilleux said, adding that the fans will assuredly all be given away by year’s end. “People who deliver the home delivered meals can come back and report that someone’s needing a fan.
“We get 100 calls each year asking for fans ... They will definitely all be gone by the end of summer.”
Another Port Allen based non-profit organization, Save Our Sons (S.O.S.), delivered several box fans to low-income families and elderly people on Friday.
S.O.S. directors Ronnie Slaughter and wife “Deedy,” along with Adrian Joseph gave away about 30 fans.
“We realized that many elderly people in Port Allen utilize their air conditioner units at a very minimum to cut down on high bills,” the Slaughters wrote in a letter. “Therefore, the fans are a big plus for their households.”
Ronnie and Deedy Slaughter said that they would like to continue their box fan drive throughout the summer, and will do so as long as people are willing to help by donating.