SAN ANTONIO – On Saturday, more than 400 volunteers came together with one goal in mind: to help folks beat the heat.
“So, today is about keeping the seniors, particularly homebound seniors that we serve, cool,” said Forrest Myane, chief strategist and development officer for Meals on Wheels.
Extreme heat is responsible for more weather-related deaths in the US in an average year than any other hazard, according to the National Weather Service.
“We know there’s extreme heat this year, and we want to make sure that they all have some sort of help and extra water, so they’re hydrated and all of those things,” said Myane.
Over 3,700 cooling kits were distributed to seniors in need across San Antonio.
The kits also included box fans and window units.
“As we all know, you know, San Antonio has a, you know, underserved community and growing on the East Eide. I remember not having ac, I remember it was hot, and, you know, I know that there’s still families out there that maybe can’t afford it or don’t have the means to make it happen,” said Albert Gonzalez, the owner of Military City Air Conditioning and Heating.
Virginia Martinez, a lifelong resident of San Antonio, has lived in her home since the 1950s and says back then, she did not need an air conditioning unit.
The summers now are getting hotter than ever, she said.
“Oh, God, the heat is just devastating. I find myself wet and my body’s wet, and I can’t open the windows. I mean, they’re open today. Every morning they are open but by 10:30 or 11, everything shuts down because of the heat,” Martinez said.
When KSAT arrived the temperature inside her home was reading almost in the 90s but thanks to these men and Meals and Wheels, that temperature lowered to an enjoyable 64.
“I pray for Meals on Wheels. They do so much for so many people, dear God,” said Martinez
Ironically enough, Martinez dedicated many hours to volunteering in her younger years.
In fact, she received many recognitions for her service.
“I didn’t know when I was doing my charitable work that someday I would be needing. I would be needing what I did for so many seniors in my younger days,” she said.