GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County Senior Resources has a critical need in order to help the area elderly residents endure sweltering summer heat.
The agency has a waiting list of seniors - who are most "at risk" for heat related illness and death - in need of a window air conditioner.
Although they gave away around 42 units in 2015, the agency is now in desperate need of donations.
"I worked until I was 76," said Ms. Eula Mae Cole, as she visited with leaders from Harrison County Senior Resources. "I had a little old thing, an oscillating fan in there. But it would get hot. Yes, it got hot," said Cole.
An afternoon shower helps cool off Cole's small, wood frame home on 19th Street; but the oppressive heat will soon return.
"There's so many underlying health problems that our seniors are suffering with, and if we can keep them cool and comfortable, it just makes a difference," said Janie Merrell, with Harrison County Senior Resources. "And there's such a demand. We've got a waiting list of people wanting and needing them."
Cole keeps her donated window unit in the bedroom and says it's made a tremendous difference in helping keep her comfortable.
"We try to encourage our seniors to go to the centers where it's cool during the day," said Mag Holland.
Leaders hope others will see fit to donate window units to keep seniors from falling victim to summer's heat.
"I ain't got the words to say. I just don't know what to say. But I appreciate every bit of it, and I thank y'all so much," said Ms. Cole.
To donate a window air conditioning unit, call Harrison County Senior Resources at (228) 896-0214.