Salvation Army hopes to raise 250,000 water bottles during annual drive

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PHOENIX -- The summer heat is on and so are the Salvation Army's Project HOPE Hydration Stations. This year, it seems, the need is greater than ever.

“Our goal is to lower the incidence of death and serious physical problems during these very difficult days,” Col. Olin Hogan said.

The organization will hand out free water to anyone who needs it.

“We'll get out there and make sure everybody who needs it, gets water,” Hogan said. “There are a lot of people on the streets, seniors and others, young children. We're here to help them.”

When the triple-digits hit, most people head indoors, but these guys head out.

“The signal is, the National Weather Service issues an excessive heat advisory,” said Project HOPE Program Director John Landrum. “We have less than 24 hours to set up our 13 sites throughout the Valley and to help people stay safe.”

This year the organizaton has received support from the city of Phoenix to extend hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. In years past, they’ve only had the funding to serve from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This is huge. We're going to be able to serve more water this year and reach more people than we ever have before,” Landrum said. “We have hats, sunscreen, water, we have maps of Maricopa County to show where you can stay safe in the heat.”

But to do it, they’re asking for our community’s support. This week they're teaming with 3TV for our annual Water Bottle Drive. The goal is to received more than a quarter million donated bottles of water.

“A case of water, a bottle of water, five or 10 bottles, 20 cases, whatever, we need all the help we can get,” Hogan said.

“We can be a force in the Valley in saving lives,” Landrum said.

The water bottle drive will take place Thursday, June 16, 6 a.m.-7 p.m., at The Salvation Army located at 2707 E. Van Buren St. in Phoenix. For more information go to the Salvation Army's website.