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United Way of Tarrant County Launches Beat the Heat Campaign to Protect Vulnerable Populations This Summer

Thursday, June 15, 2023

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas (June 15, 2023) — As part of its mission to serve the local community in times of crisis, United Way of Tarrant County (UWTC) launches its second annual Beat the Heat campaign on June 21, the organization’s planned Day of Action and the first official day of summer. The campaign’s goal is to collect 100 air conditioning units in honor of the organization’s 100-year anniversary.

As part of this campaign, UWTC is asking the community to donate working portable and window A/C units to help older adults and disabled individuals keep cool and reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses and fatalities during the summer months. Additionally, UWTC is raising money to purchase A/C units and provide utility bill assistance to those in need. The Beat the Heat fundraiser and collection drive will continue through September 30.  NBC 5/Telemundo 39 is partnering with the UWTC on this initiative as a media sponsor.

In summer 2022, Tarrant County experienced an average of one heat-related death each week, and according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office, 70% of those who died from the heat did not have a functioning A/C unit or were experiencing homelessness. Additionally, From June 1-September 30, 2022, the 2-1-1 social services helpline received more than 10,000 calls from residents looking for utility assistance. Already leading into mid-June this year, 2-1-1 is getting a record number of calls for this same assistance, and United Way of Tarrant County’s Area Agency on Aging (AAATC) has a list of residents requesting A/C unit installation.

“Triple-digit heat is dangerous to everyone, especially older adults or those with disabilities who don’t have access to air conditioning or who are income constrained and can’t afford to turn on their central air-conditioning systems,” said Shakita Johnson, AAATC’s executive director and UWTC Community Investment vice president.” The smaller A/C room and window units we are gathering are less expensive to run and allow our neighbors to stay inside out of the heat. With our Beat the Heat campaign, we aim to protect our community and prevent the tragedies we saw too often last year. But we can’t do it without the community’s support. We urge everyone to consider helping with this campaign and to check on their neighbors and loved ones during the hot summer months to make sure they stay safe and cool.”

During last year’s Beat the Heat campaign, the UWTC collected more that 100 A/C units and fans, many of which were distributed and installed by area fire departments, MedStar, other nonprofit agencies, adult day care centers and local faith-based groups. The AAATC also provided utility assistance to 147 older adults and disabled individuals struggling to pay their bills last summer—twice the number from the previous summer.

There are several ways to contribute to the Beat the Heat campaign:

  • Donate funds at
  • Purchase units using one of our wish lists:
  • Donate new A/C units at on of the collection sites, starting on June 21:
    • United Way of Tarrant County – Main Office, 201 N. Rupert Street, Suite 107, Fort Worth, TX 76107
    • United Way of Tarrant County – Arlington Office, 401 W. Sanford St., Suite 2600, Arlington, TX 76011
    • GRACE Donation Station, 1060 Texan Trail, Grapevine, TX 76051
    • Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, 1150 South Freeway, Suite 211, Fort Worth, TX 76104

Tarrant County residents needing help to stay cool this summer can call one of these help lines:

  • 2-1-1 Texas is a free, anonymous social service hotline available 24 hours a day. Call 2-1-1 to or visit org find the nearest cooling center.
  • 1-888-730-ADRC (2372) The Aging and Disability Resource Center assists those 60+ or adults with a disability find utility bill assistance and learn if they qualify for a free A/C unit.
  • 1-844-4TX-VETS (844-489-8387) Active-duty military, veterans and their families can call the Texas Veterans Network for assistance with getting a free A/C unit or utility bill help.

To qualify to receive an AC unit, an individual must be a Tarrant County resident, who is either 60 or older, disabled, or an active-duty military member or a veteran.

For more information on Beat the Heat, visit


About United Way of Tarrant County

United Way of Tarrant County brings people together to build strong communities where everyone thrives. As a nonprofit leader, we help communities tackle tough challenges and work with private, public, and nonprofit partners to boost education, financial stability, and health resources. In the past two years, we have doubled our impact, helping more than 550,000 people through our resources. We celebrated our 100th anniversary in 2022 and are ready to serve Tarrant County for years to come.

Deanna W. Titzler  
United Way of Tarrant County