COLUMBIA, SC — When DeKendra Bates’ baby came home from the hospital this past weekend, it was cause for celebration.
Derwin, as he was named, was born prematurely in November and has been in the hospital since. The family has been eagerly awaiting the new baby’s arrival.
“Oh yes, they’ve been ready for him to come home,” she said.
The news that Derwin finally would be discharged was certainly welcome in the Bates household, where it’s been a difficult couple of months.
With Bates recuperating from her early delivery and trying to take care of her other two children, ages 4 and 10, she says it’s been difficult for her to return to her job at an area hotel.
When she began to fall behind on her December power bill, a friend told her about the Woodyard Fund.
Administered by the Salvation Army, the fund helps people in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry counties during the coldest months of the year — November through March. Funds go directly toward helping to keep the heat on or to have heat turned back on for those struggling financially.
After calling the Salvation Army, counselors asked if Bates could call back. The money already had been distributed to other recipients that week.
So Bates called again. This time she was given an appointment and in a matter of days, her $226 overdue bill was paid in full.
“I was very relieved,” she said. “I appreciate what they did because I was in need of them. Everyone was very sweet.”
Now Bates says she can focus her attention on her family and taking care of Derwin.
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 Jan. 11
Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church, $190
LTC Ret. Stanley W. Wapinski, $50
Lewis F. Knudsen Jr., $50
Jeff Brockelsby, $100
Norman B. Cox, $25
Tomas Minor, $50
Winifred R. Mcmaster, $200
Dallas and Richard Garbee, $250
Jean Mack, $25
Nancy Senn, $25
The Mullaney Agency Inc., $25
Eddie E. Glenn, $10
In memory of Ed and Glora Turner, $200
Jean B. Thompson, $200
Jose P. Cordova, $50
Rebecca E. Wallace, $50
Hands for God Sunday School Class Mt. Hebron UMC, $50
William C. Cantey Jr., $100
In memory of my parents, $50
Mel W. Maurer, $100
Riverland Hills Baptist Church Faith Sunday School Class, $50
In memory of James R. Neese, $100
Jacqueline S. Cominotti, $30
The Willing Helpers Club of Second Calvary Baptist Church, $50
Janet A. Fary, $300
Mary Ann M. Weir, $35
Annette B. Price, $50
In memory of Janet Johnson and Kathy Whetstone, $50
In remembrance of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings, $50
Annie L. Buggs, $200
Dorothy S. Ropp, $100
In memory of David E. Monts, given by anonymous, $100
Betty B. Cornwell, $100
Rev. and Mrs. George Chassey, $25
Wesley Terry, $75
Agape Circle St. Andrews Lutheran Church, $150
Charles and Virginia Greene, $150
In memory of Jack, Midi and Magi, $100
Barbara C. Hevener, $50
In memory of my son Steve and husband Dan, $75
In memory of Sammy A. Pound, $100
In memory of Marilyn M. Pound, $50
TOTAL THIS WEEK $4,090
TOTAL TO DATE $79,367
Reach Lucas (803) 771-8657.