No fan drive for FaithWorks this summer

COVINGTON -- FaithWorks has discontinued its popular fan drive this summer, as the nonprofit organization struggles to keep enough funds coming in to satisfy its primary purpose: helping residents make utility and rent payments.

For the past four years, FaithWorks has given out thousands of free fans to the community, but given financial constraints, the governing committee opted not to hold the fan drive this year, said Executive Director Dennis Cheek.

"We know there's a need, but we had to close the last two weeks of May because of funding difficulties. The executive committee said rather than focus the attention on the fan drive this year, we want to see if we can get the community and church support with regular donations and concentrate on the utility and rental assistance programs," Cheek said. "People say the economy's getting better, but you couldn't prove it by what we see at FaithWorks."

There was a decline in demand during last year's fan drive, Cheek said.

"I hope that means we've put a good many out there with the previous fan drives and maybe there's a lot that still have those fans that are in good shape and they can use them again," he said.

FaithWorks closed for a total of six weeks in 2009. Cheek said the executive committee is trying to prevent that from happening again this year.

Cheek said utility and rent assistance has been restricted to those who have received cutoff or eviction notices, and even with that constraint, FaithWorks is seeing high numbers of applications. In April the organization assisted 116 families, and that number is higher than many months in the past before the cutoff rule was implemented.

"That lets me know people are still hurting," Cheek said.

To learn more about FaithWorks or make a donation, call 770-784-1884.