Entergy Texas delivered 120 box fans to The Salvation Army of Orange County location in Pinehurst this past week. The box fans are part of the company’s annual “Beat the Heat” program to help senior citizens stay cool during summer. Johnny Trahan, Entergy Texas Customer Service Manager, at center, gets help unwrapping the pallets of box fans by The Salvation Army representatives Randy Walter, at left, and Demarcus Gilmore, at right. Photo by Tommy Mann Jr.

Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

The heat has been oppressive this summer but Entergy and other area organizations are doing their part to help Southeast Texas residents stay as cool as possible.

Entergy Texas delivered 150 box fans to two locations in Orange County this past week as part of its annual “Beat the Heat” program. A total of 30 fans were delivered to the United Christian Care Center in Vidor for the fourth year in a row and a total of 120 box fans were delivered to The Salvation Army of Orange County location in Pinehurst for the 16th year as part of this program.

The purpose of the annual “Beat the Heat” program is to assist low-income residents in the Entergy service territory to stay cool during the summer months. With high temperatures in the mid-to-upper 90s and low temperatures hovering around 80 degrees at night, these fans will be very useful for many residents.

“We realize there are a lot of people who cannot afford to run the air-conditioning, or they may not even have air-conditioning,” said Johnny Trahan, Customer Service Manager with Entergy Texas. “That’s why we do this program every year.”

The program primarily is designed to benefit senior citizens as many of those residents are on a fixed-income and have to budget every dollar available to meet their needs on a monthly basis.

Capt. Martha Higdon of The Salvation Army of Orange County said the delivery of box fans could not have come at a better time.

“As soon as summer arrives, we have people start asking us about the box fans and when are they supposed to arrive,” Higdon explained. “They are asking us all of the time, and it is because they know we do this with Entergy every year and they are just wanting to stay cool.”

According to its official website, The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church and its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet the human needs in His name without discrimination. This annual event allows the local chapter to do exactly that.

“We try to meet the needs of the community, no matter the season,” Higdon added. “And this box fan program is another way we can help the families for the summer and be able to cool down.”

The Salvation Army of Orange County began distributing the fans to local residents ages 60 and older this past Monday.

More than 18,000 fans have been delivered since the program’s inception, which included more than 1,300 fans being delivered throughout Entergy’s territories this past week.  More than 700 box fans were distributed at locations in Orange, Vidor, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Nederland, Liberty, Winnie, Sour Lake and Silsbee.

Entergy Texas provides electricity service to more than 430,000 customers in 27 counties across the state and has more than 2.8 million utility customers in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.