CHICAGO — As dangerously hot temperatures overtook Chicago, Saint Sabina Catholic Church helped some South Side residents enjoy a cold, refreshing reprieve from the heat.
On the corner of 79th and Racine, WGN News cameras rolled as a team of volunteers from the Englewood-area church handed out free water.
The good deed comes after Father Michael Pfleger took to Facebook to ask for donations for Wednesday’s water giveaway. The church is known to host water giveaways when there’s an excessive heat warning in the area, but Wednesday’s was the first of the summer.
According to Pfleger, the church received more than 250 cases of water.
Amid air conditioning and public transportation woes, there’s no opportunity to avoid the heat for some. It’s why volunteers hoped some ice-cold water would help.
“A lot of people don’t have the one or two dollars to buy water from someone selling it on the expressway, so we want to just be there…and keep people hydrated and let them know that we care,” Pfleger said.
Latisha Taylor told WGN News that the blazing temperatures have been a headache after the power went out at her Atgeld Garden home around 7 p.m. Tuesday.
While power was restored Wednesday morning before the peak of the heatwave, Taylor and others continued to deal with the aftermath.
“I’m mad all my food is spoiled,” Taylor said. “About $500 worth of food but whatever.”
Locals are encouraged to use cooling centers across the city – Chicago has 12 and activated an additional 15 satellite senior centers – to beat the heat as 100-plus degree temps are expected on Thursday.
The Salvation Army is also welcoming those in need.
“We’re just a good neighbor,” said Salvation Army’s Tyrone Staggers. “We open our doors for those who may need to come in and they can cool off here and get some cold water.”
While several cooling centers sat empty Wednesday morning, organizers expect them to be full on Thursday amid an uptick of heat.
Full forecast details and more at the WGN Weather Center blog
“Go take advantage of the places that are there,” Pfleger said. “People look after each other and everybody look after yourself.”