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.
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
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
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
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
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
Wayne W. Herman, $150
Col. George B. Inabinet Jr., $100
Audrey J. Mackie, $25
J.B. Kneece, $200
Carl B. Freedman, $50
TOTAL THIS WEEK, $13,587
TOTAL TO DATE, $60,381