Social service agencies have been overwhelmed with pleas for air conditioners. The elderly and children and those with health problems are especially at risk. But now, two women who both hold elected office did what they're encouraging others to do -- help those without the resources to help themselves.
Last week, in a home off MacGregor without any air conditioning, the bodies of an elderly mother and her ailing daughter were fouind. Those deaths did something to their neighbors and the people who represent the district.
"This should not happen anywhere - anywhere. This is a call to action," Houston City Councilwoman Wanda Adams said.
And on Friday, there was a challenge.
"Do something this evening before another life is lost," Texas State Rep. Alma Allen said.
And then, it was followed by action.
Allen and Adams bought air conditioners on their own and took them to a Sunnyside neighborhood. Two went to a home with broken window units; a woman who lives there is recovering from a heart bypass was confined to a hot bedroom.
"This is a blessing, a true blessing," said Barbara Hawkins, one of the A/C recipients.
Her elderly mother lives in home with a very hot living room.
"It's so hot in here and I can't pull up and sit out here like I usually do," said her mother, 84-year-old Eva May Ginn.
They're cooler now, and on another street in Sunnyside, so is another family, including four young children. The councilwoman saw the open windows and stopped.
Patrice Gay and family have been without A/C all summer.
"I'm very emotional right now," Gay said.
Two homes cooler and two families more comfortable; it's an example of what reaching out to a stranger in need can do.
People are suffering and they need immediate help, so all of us can do something to help one person improve the quality of their lives.
The City of Houston Health Department is asking the public to donate window air conditioning units. Anyone willing to help is asked to call 2-1-1. Applications for assistance are also being accepted.