Free air conditioner giveaway

WILMINGTON, Del. - July 26, 2010 "The initial $30,000 in funding will enable us to purchase 100 portable air conditioners to provide relief to households that do not have central air conditioning or window units," according to Jea Street, Executive Director of the Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center, who is coordinating the giveaway. "People who are low income and have health issues relating to air quality will be eligible to apply for the units. Be it the elderly, persons with disabilities or babies-families or individuals who meet the criteria will be considered."

Eligibility is based upon income or disability, with a high priority given to senior citizens. If a member of a household has a breathing disability such as chronic asthma or severe allergies, an individual may be eligible regardless of income. The income guidelines are based upon 200% of poverty.

Applications will be available through community agencies throughout Wilmington including the Girls Inc. of Delaware, Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center, Kingswood Community Center, Latin American Community Center, Neighborhood House, Our Youth Inc., Peoples Settlement Association and the West End Neighborhood House.

Rob Steiner, Lowes Operations Manager will be supplying the initial purchased units with Alfred "Izzy" Izquierdo, a former Wilmington police officer handling the distribution. "I've got four officers ready to donate their time and energy to this important effort," according to Izquierdo who is now president and owner of International Security LLC, a firm that provides security services to individuals, businesses, universities and government facilities.

"The Delaware Community Foundation is pleased to support OPERATION COOL AIR," stated Fred C. Sears II, Delaware Community Foundation President & CEO. "Those who are homebound or frail and not able to leave their homes are suffering since this heat wave began nearly a month ago. This is a unique way to help others-one household and one air conditioner at a time."

For more information or to apply for a portable unit, please contact one of the agencies listed or Akilah Jackson, Family Service Worker at Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center by calling 302.656.3224.

To help purchase additional units for distribution, donations can be made to OPERATION COOL AIR, C/O Delaware Community Foundation, P. O. Box 1636, Wilmington, Delaware 19899 or via the Foundation's website,, .

Contact: Lisa Wolfe P: 302.504.5226, Cell 302-494-5769

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