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Charlotte Area News

Electrolux Donation Cools Low Income Families

While people donate a couch, clothes, and lamps pretty readily when they go out of style, air conditioners are usually used until they go kaput. Crisis Assistance Ministries' furniture bank was sparse on cooling appliances until a donation arrived Friday. Electrolux delivered 940 air conditioning units to the Crisis Assistance Ministries' furniture bank to help stifle the heat wave. The units are valued at $140,000 dollars. Crisis Assistance Ministries' will now make the units available to low income Mecklenburg county residents. Maya Anne Mays rode the bus to pick up a unit today. She has epilepsy and says that the heat contributed to four seizures in the past week. In the winter, she says she averages about one a month. The heat has her stuck at home, where it's also hottest. "It's made it very difficult for me to leave the house or even just go to the doctor," Mays says. "It's risky to take the bus in the heat, because some of the buses don't have air conditioning functional." These AC units will also increase energy bills. Crisis Assistance CEO, Carol Hardison says the agency will have to take on some costs to provide further assistance. Hardison says, "It's not just because they can't afford an AC. It's also because they have an energy bill that was past due that they couldn't pay and they got cut off." Low-income families are able to apply for units, first come, first served. They're required to prove they have a residence that doesn't already have a unit. People just above the poverty line are also eligible.