Woodyard fund helps Columbia mother taking care of aging parents

mlucas@thestate.comDecember 31, 2012 

Deborah Mills believes in facing life’s challenges head on.

In fact, years ago when the Columbia mother of five wanted to learn how to hang sheet rock, her father told her if the daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali could become a professional fighter, there was nothing she couldn’t do.

So taking a page from Laila Ali’s life, Mills set out to do just that – hang sheet rock.

It’s that can-do spirit that has helped Mills, who has held a variety of jobs over the years, get through it all.

Most recently, it has been her positive attitude that has helped her yet again get through another challenging situation.

With both parents suffering from debilitating illnesses – her mother has kidney failure and her father has bone cancer – Mills has been caring not only for her children but both her parents as well.

As health care and other bills began stacking up, Mills found herself falling behind on her monthly expenses – expenses like the family’s energy bill.

“But you have to keep the faith,” she says. “You have to keep going.”

So Mills decided to turn to the Salvation Army’s Woodyard Fund. She had heard about the fund from others in her community.

Within days of placing a phone call, Mills had an appointment with a counselor and $300 of her December power bill was paid on the spot.

“I felt so much better, and everyone was so nice,” she says.

For Mills, who says she has always tried to help others when she could, knowing there are generous donors in the Midlands, has meant a great deal – to her and her extended family.

“To know that when you fall down like that, and that there are people out there who will help is a blessing,” she said. “You never know how the next person’s life is going to be or how that’s helped them.”

Reach Lucas at (803) 771-8657.

Woodyard Fund

How to give help: Donations can be mailed to the Woodyard Fund, c/o The State, P.O. Box 1333, Columbia SC 29202. Make checks payable to the Woodyard Fund. All donations are tax-deductible.

How to get help: Area residents who need assistance with heating bills can call for an appointment at (803) 462-5093.

Woodyard Fund contributions

For the week ending Dec. 28

Rose Mary S. Smith, $25

Fellowship Bible Sunday School Class at Ashland UMC, $100

Anonymous, $200

D. David Day Sr., $100

Patricia Kennard, $25

Danelle Duncan, $100

Betty Shealy Hite, $40

IOTA Master Ma Beta Sigma Phi, $50

William W. Kuhn, $50

Sara W. Dent, $25

Anonymous, $25

Linda H. Danielsen, $10

In memory of Mac James, $25

St. John Neumann Crisis Ministry, $200

In memory of Ken Shealy, $100

Central Carolina Community Foundation, $1,000

Mr. and Mrs. R.S. Baston, $25

Marshall Watts, $50

David C Wylie III, $35

In memory of Jean Moorman, $100

Delphine Washington, in memory of my son, D’Antonio Washington, $100

In memory of Nita “Nana” Stoudenmire from her children, grands and great-grandchildren, $200

The Coggins Family Christmas Fund, in honor of Betty S. Coggins, $500

In memory of Pam and Marge Foster, $100

Robert W. Foster Sr., $100

Elmer and Mary Frick, $100

In memory of Buddy and Rosie Billas, $100

Kathy B. Hawks, $25

Employees of Barr-Price Funeral Home, $238

Bernadette Scott, $100

Anonymous, $300

Anonymous, $1,000

In memory of Carl W. Harmon, $50

Craig A. Duffield, in memory of our parents, $100

Wendell W. Anthony, $100

James L. Hudgins, $100

Gloria D. Truluck, $25

Jane M. Keller, $100

Gerald D. Floyd, $100

In memory of Connie Derrick, $100

Thanksgiving for family and friends, $100

Frank B. Havird, $50

Regions Corporate Trust, $250

Kendrick Alling Clements, $50

Anonymous, $500

Anonymous, $2,500

Bill Ratteree, $50

United Methodist Women at Windsor UMC, $409

Joy Sunday School Class, $100

Floyd W. Taylor, $100

Accounts Receivable Dept. at Southeastern Freight Lines, $180

In memory of Paul Mims, $100

Youvnee W. Hooker Sr., $100

Gale K. Bell, $200

Bob and Debbie Spratlin, $250

Andrianna Pigeon, $100

Peter H. Stewart, $100

Margaret and Warren H. Christmus Jr., in memory of Frank Love, $100

Herbert B. Niestat, M.D., $500

RoseMarie Brodeur, $100

Dick and Frances Robertson, $100

Anonymous, $1,200

Wayne W. Herman, $150

Col. George B. Inabinet Jr., $100

Anonymous, $100

Audrey J. Mackie, $25

J.B. Kneece, $200

Carl B. Freedman, $50

TOTAL THIS WEEK, $13,587

TOTAL TO DATE, $60,381

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