Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)By Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Ameren Missouri donates about 500 air conditioners and $25,000 to help the poor get ready for another summer with typical heat waves near 100 degrees.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson was on hand for the announcement.

“The weather is perfect today, but we know St. Louis’ hot, humid summer is just around the corner,” she said.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, whose ambulance crews respond to heat cases, says the annual air conditioner giveaway through the charity Cool Down St. Louis is saving lives.

img 4138 Fire Chief Says Cool Down Charity Preventing Heat Deaths

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. (KMOX/file photo)

“When we first started this program, we were in the double digits with heat deaths,” Jenkerson said, “and we’ve seen them steadily decrease through this program, and also through the educational program of telling people to check on their neighbors.”

Longtime volunteer and Chair Emeritus the Rev. Earl Nance says even in 2017, there are people in St. Louis living in homes without air conditioning.

“Every year we find, we go in the houses, and see that there’s nothing, nothing!” Nance said.

The organization is asking the public to help, either by donating “gently used” air conditioners, or by donating money to help people pay their electric bills.

To find out more, visit cooldownstlouis.org, or call 314-241-7668.

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