By CHERIL VERNON
A group of local organizations and businesses are working together to sponsor a “People That Care” Picnic and Fan Drive event on Thursday, March 21 in Palestine.
Encompass Home Health, Palestine Resource Center for Independent Living, Dogwood Trails Assisted Living & Memory Care and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 991 have teamed up to gather fans for those in need in the community before the hotter temperatures arrive for the summer.
“A lot of times the elderly will not use their air conditioners due to the high cost of energy and other needs. The fans can be lifesavers for those people,” said event coordinator Gerri Simpson, Area Manager for Encompass Home Health. “This is our third fan drive. In the past, we have given out hundreds of fans.”
The Picnic and Fan Drive will be held at 11 a.m. at Dogwood Trails Assisted Living & Memory Care, located at 1625 W. Spring St.
Hamburger or hot dogs will be served with chips, cookies and lemonade for $5 per person or for a donation of a box fan per couple. Dine-in and take-out will be available.
The fan drive got its start from Encompass Home Health’s employee-funded charity Encompass Cares Foundation, where employees can make a donation from their paycheck. Contributions support both international and domestic care initiatives such as the fan drive.
Over the years, the business has supported causes ranging from pantry drives to toy drives to medical missions and Habitat for Humanity. The fund also helps provide relief for co-workers in need through grants from Encompass Cares Employee Emergency Relief Fund.
“Our mission at Encompass is a ‘Better Way to Care, Give and Service.’ This is our way of reaching out in the community and giving back,” Simpson said.
Lowe’s Manager Jeremy Wages is able to provide a discount on the fans for the fan drive, enabling the group to provide more assistance to the community.
For information about the “People That Care” Picnic and Fan Drive, call Debbie Wesson at 903-373-8639, Gerri Simpson at 903-922-9623, Allan Ayo at 903-322-4850 or Cathy Newsome at 903-729-7505.