Salvation Army seeks summer fans for seniors

The Salvation Army has a couple of summertime requests: Donations of fans to help keep the heat at bay, and volunteers to help out with summer camp duties.

Unseasonably warm temperatures arrived early this month, with the thermometer hitting the mid-90s in the first week of June. So the Salvation Army is kicking off its annual fan drive early this year, said Jackie Agee, development director.

The organization is requesting help from the community in providing fans to senior citizens, disabled individuals, those with illnesses or families with infants, she said.

"During the hot summer weather, needy residents with heat-related health risks are especially vulnerable," said Agee. "Anybody who has any kind of breathing problems, heart problems, even people with diabetes, the heat will aggravate any health-related issue."

The Salvation Army provided 126 fans to the community's needy citizens in 2012. Presently it has only about a dozen hand-held fans on hand. And, as temperatures climb in the Rogue Valley, requests begin pouring in, Agee said.

"The box fans or the bigger fans are really, greatly appreciated," she said. "Even though the temperatures have cooled down, it will get hot. And we'll definitely need them."

The Army is also in need of volunteers to help out with this year's upcoming Summer Day Camp at its Beatty Street site in Medford. Volunteers must be able pass a background check, and are needed to help camp staff with recreational activities and crafts, daily supervision of children, field trips and facility upkeep, Agee said.

Approximately 30 low income children will attend this year's camp, which runs Mondays through Fridays from June 24 through August 23. The children range in age from 5 to 12 years old, she said.

Volunteers will be working with the children while they do crafts projects, or help out with outdoor sports activities. Later in the session, they might assist on a field trip to the water slides at Emigrant Lake.

"It's really just working with the kids and making sure they're safe during the summer," Agee said.

Donations of used or new fans may be dropped off at the organization's thrift store at 922 N. Central Ave., Medford or at the church office, 304 Beatty St., Medford. Cash donations for purchasing fans may be mailed to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 757, Medford, OR, 97501. For more information about the fans, call 541-772-8149.

For further information about volunteering, or to sign up, contact Trina Lillman, volunteer coordinator, at 541-773-6965 or

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or e-mail

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