MLGW ‘Play It Cool’ program helping seniors beat the heat

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We may be getting a little break right now from the scorching summer temperatures we're used to, but things are likely to heat up again soon. That's why MLGW's  Play It Cool program is so important to low-income senior citizens and the disabled here in Shelby County.

The program, which provides window air conditioning units to qualified residents, processed applications Monday morning on a first-come basis.

"This is a wonderful program. I love it."

It's Monday morning and Sabrina Luckett is all smiles.

Luckett, who lives in Orange Mound,  is one of 80 people approved to receive a window air conditioning unit donated by MLGW's Play It Cool program.

"My house is hot and I know a lot of senior citizens' houses are hot. 'Cause I'm working with two fans at the moment," said Luckett.

Luckett arrived early at the Neighborhood Christian Center on Jackson Avenue,  hoping she would be approved for an AC unit.

All applicants were required to be at least 60 years of age, live in Shelby County, show proof of residency, provide an income statement and not currently have a working air conditioning unit.

No problem for Luckett.

"I have one but it's not working. And I can't afford to get it fixed," she said.

Volunteers with MLGW worked with applicants to verify information and get the cooling process underway.

The sooner the better since everyone involved knows summer in the city can be merciless.

"Right now it's not hot, but they know it's coming back. And they don't want to be sick. They want to be more comfortable in the heat. So that's why they are here," said Ephie Johnson, president and CEO of Neighborhood Christian Centers.

The AC units will be installed as soon as MLGW conducts field inspections to check that residences meet installation requirements.

Luckett was told her AC unit won't be installed until August, but she's more than OK with that.

"At least I can be cool in my bedroom...where I can kick back!"