They didn’t get a lot of support at first, but I’m thrilled to report there’s a happy ending to the story:
I wish I could take credit, but I just typed some words. Many thanks to all of you who chipped in!
… we had zero luck getting any local help. Everybody claimed it was a great thing to do but nobody had any real desire to do the work. It seems people around here — even churches — are very skeptical about helping others who aren’t of their own flock. Everybody talked a good game but when it came down to actually giving their money, they weren’t willing.
… We ended up with a ton more money than we had thought we would thanks to the Friendly Atheist and his wonderful community. These people came out of the woodwork to donate to the cause and, because of their efforts, we were able to buy seven air conditions instead of just one or two. To Hemant and his readers, we thank you so much for trusting us to make the lives of the poor and elderly just a little bit better.
The money they raised (over $800) allowed them to buy seven air conditioner units:
The leftover funds allowed them to buy “file folders, notebooks, pencils, and hand sanitizer for 40 kids” and a few first aid kits, too
Good news all around.
If you’re in the area, consider joining the newly-formed Northeast Mississippi Secular Humanist Association so more charity-fundraisers like this can happen!