Salvation Army’s Beat the Heat initiative returns

Box fans, monetary donations needed to provide relief for seniors, others struggling

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — The heat wave has been relentless on everyone here in the Tennessee Valley.

While some can turn to their A/C units for relief, not everyone has that luxury.

The Salvation Army’s Beat the Heat initiative is back for another summer here in Chattanooga.

Members of the local chapter know that not everyone, particularly seniors, may have access to air conditioning.

Chattanooga’s Salvation Army is asking for fans — a lot of fans.

With the heat staying consistently in the 90s, the local branch is asking residents for either monetary donations or the donation of physical fans to help those in need stay cool this summer.

“People came by today and dropped off a car-load of fans,” said Maj. Mark Smith. “So the word is getting out and, you know, as it gets hotter, people think more about this. Think about our senior citizens that are really suffering — they’re the ones that are really suffering through this.”

Donated box fans can be dropped off at the Salvation Army’s locations in both Chattanooga and Cleveland.

Smith says monetary donations also make a big difference, particularly due to a partnership with Elder’s Ace.

“A customer that bought a fan would probably spend $25 and up on a fan,” Smith said. “But if you give us the money, we can buy them for 13 dollars. So that’s actually getting two fans for the price of one if you walk into the store.”

Director of Development Holly Reeve says about 400-500 fans are needed.

But even if residents can’t find any to donate, there are other ways to help.

“We ask for support in a number of ways — box fans if people will purchase them and donate them to us, utility assistance, bottled water,” Reeve said. “We have a number of partners that we work with to help bring it in, but we really ask the community to bring these gifts into our headquarters here at McCallie Avenue.”

The Salvation Army is also providing water at an outdoor hydration station at 800 McCallie Avenue, as well as water, showers and laundry service at their Cleveland location.

Friday, June 17, 2022, also marked the final day of service for Maj. Smith here in Chattanooga.

He expressed his love for the city and said he will greatly miss the community.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News