Ameren Illinois Friday donated 50 air conditioner units to help low-income residents deal with the summer heat.
Ameren's senior director of division operations John Barud says the utility wants to be a good community partner by helping those in need cool their homes.
"Having air conditioners will not only help keep homes cool, but, it will help provide a safe environment for those who are especially vulnerable to hot, summer temperatures."
Ameren Illinois division director Ray Riddle says people shouldn't have to suffer through hot temperatures without any relief.
"The words summer and fun are synonymous...summer, fun and happiness. But, days like this, not having AC can be a challenge. We hope that these 50 units will help the community."
One of the recipients of the 6,000 BTU units is Lucille Ward of Carbondale. She says the air conditioner will allow her and her family to stay at home to deal with the intense heat.
"I'd have to get out, get in some pools, get in a recreation place where we could keep the kids and grandkids cool and stuff and now it's pretty much going to cool down my house. The one I have is real old and it spits out a little bit, but not enough to keep the upstairs and downstairs cool."
Another recipient, Charlotte Huff of Carbondale, says her air conditioner will allow her to enjoy the summer.
"It'll make it a whole lot cooler because I've been running off of fans and it's a little bit too hot for fans right now."
The air conditioner donations were made possible through the Ameren Cares program, which connects the utility with the communities it serves through volunteering and charitable giving.
Ameren Illinois has donated over two thousand air conditioners since the program started in 2013.