Jonas Amerson is all smiles a day after talking with WTOK about his struggle to beat the heat. He first sought assistance from Multi-County Community Service agency last spring. His request was for an air conditioner. At the time the 69-year-old retiree, who lives alone, says his air conditioner had stopped working. Since then he had been using three fans and his porch to keep cool. However, after doing an interview with us Thursday morning, he says MCCSA officials contacted him to pick up a unit.
'Oh, I feel blessed! I feel real blessed. I'm not looking for a hand out. I try to work. I try to do something.'
Just before dark Thursday, Amerson says officials from the store Lowe's showed up at his house with another donated air conditioner.
'I said double for my trouble. .It's a double blessing for my trouble!.'
A day after Jonas Amerson's story first aired, Multi-County Community Service Agency is closed to the public for a staff development day. However, officials were able to tell us via phone that the agency's mission is to serve the needs of people in need. They say air conditioners are not stockpiled at the agency's office. Instead, they are ordered according to need. MCCSA officials say these orders are only placed after their staff members visit the houses where the people requesting the air conditioners live.
Last year MCCSA issued 92 air conditioners to residents within its nine county coverage area. So far this year, more than 100 have been issued in Lauderdale County alone. As of Thursday, there were 84 names on the waiting list for an air conditioner. Perhaps with the new development involving Mr. Amerson, that number has now dropped to 83.
'I really do appreciate it and it shows that we have love in Meridian, Mississippi. All people don't hate, but it's love.'
The counties that MCCSA serves are: Lauderdale, Clarke, Newton, Neshoba, Kemper, Leake, Scott, Smith and Jasper.