Heat leads to need for items to help people cool down

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 7:48 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The heat that has lingered for days in eastern Iowa has led to a need for items to help people cool down.

The nonprofit Together We Achieve went from connecting people to heaters to stay warm to putting a call out for fans to help people escape the heat.

“We’re starting from scratch, we didn’t expect that you know this would be something we would be assisting with but our goal is to assist the community in any way that we can,” said Raymond Siddell, Founder of Together We Achieve.

The organization, which formed after the August derecho originally as the Derecho Storm Resource Center, put the call out for donations on Thursday morning.

“When we’ve got several community members and in-home healthcare workers asking for the same item, that shows that there’s a need in our community and that’s what we’re here for,” Siddell explained.

Meanwhile, staff at Willis Dady Homeless Shelter in Cedar Rapids are seeing an increase in people coming in looking to stay hydrated.

“Let’s say if you’re in the downtown area you walk from there to here, you know it’s hot out. So by the time people get here a lot of times, most times, people are asking for water,” said Denine Rushing, Shelter Services Director at Willis Dady Homeless Services.

“With the summer kind of coming about and it’s immediately 90 plus degrees outside so yes, we never have enough water,” Rushing explained.

Siddell said within minutes of posting about the need for fans on Thursday morning, Together We Achieve had someone donate $100 to buy fans and multiple people reached out to coordinate dropping fans off.

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