After a long, cool spring in Iowa, the hot, muggy weather has arrived. Salvation Army chapters across the state are launching a free fan program to help keep folks comfortable during the upcoming summer months. Susan Eustice, spokeswoman for the agency’s Omaha/Council Bluffs chapter, says the public’s help is needed.

Eustice says, "To take care of the demand, certainly we need folks to donate new fans, too, and they are welcome to do so by stopping by our place and bringing us perhaps a new fan." She says those fans are especially important this year as hard economic times mean fewer people will be able to afford air conditioning.

She says, "Some folks that have air conditioning may not have the means to turn it on with the economic downturn we’re experiencing." Eustice says there are a few basic qualifications that need to be met before a free fan is given out.

"Priority is given to people who are 50-years or older or those with medical disabilities and you will need to bring proof of that medical disability," she says. Last year, the Salvation Army chapter distributed more than 1,000 fans to people in need in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. For help or to donate a fan, call your nearest outlet of the Salvation Army. The first day of summer is next Friday, June 20th.