An annual box fan and water drive for the elderly started after organizers felt compassion for a struggling woman.

HealthBack Home Health representative Stacey James said an elderly woman told her years ago that she walked for miles in the summer heat just to drink water in the air conditioning at a cafe because she couldn't afford it on her own.

That inspired James to start an annual box fan and water drive that delivers those items to those in need in McAlester and the surrounding areas.

"There's a lot of elderly in our community that can't afford a box fan or water over the summer so we just like to kind of help them out," she said.

This year's donation event is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at Healthback Home Health at 1102 E. Washington Ave. in McAlester.

The event will offer free snow cones for anyone who donates.

Donations sought include box fans, bottled water and other items for elderly people in need throughout the community.

The event benefits elderly people across the area, including those at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Organizers said the items will be delivered straight to homes of anyone in need. Those receiving the items don't have to be elderly if they need them, but elderly people will be prioritized during deliveries.

"They don't have to be elderly, but try to give to the elderly first," James said.

Organizers said they will focus on delivering items, but anyone showing a need can also call the office to set up a drive-in pickup.

Anyone looking to receive the items can call HealthBack Home Health at 918-423-2034 for more information.

Deliveries will start the day after the donation event.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute is scheduled to be on site Monday for anyone looking to donate blood.

Anyone interested in donating blood can call the HealthBack Home Health office to set up an appointment.

HealthBack Home Health is a home health agency that provides health care for people in need.

Contact Adrian O'Hanlon III at

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