NEWBERRY, SC — When temperatures began to drop in early December, Mary Davis started to worry.
The 51-year-old Newberry native knew the family’s power bill often skyrocketed during cold-weather months, and December was proving no different.
“This house gets so cold you have to burn heat to stay warm,” Davis said.
In early 2012, Davis, who worked in housekeeping at an area motel, had suffered a fall at work and injured her knee. She had received some financial assistance through workmen’s compensation, but Davis’ doctor told her she would need to see a specialist — something she and her husband could not afford.
After a long recovery, Davis prepared to return to work, but her housekeeping job was no longer available. For the remainder of the year, she and her husband, Kenneth, who is employed with the highway department, struggled to make ends meet.
So in December, after receiving notice the Davises were falling behind on their power bill, Mary Davis decided to turn to the Woodyard Fund for help.
Her daughter, who was in a similar situation, had an appointment with the Salvation Army, the organization that administers the fund. So Davis decided to go with her.
After helping her daughter with her power bill, the case workers turned to Davis.
After her own appointment, Davis’ $150 power bill was paid in full.
“It was a relief,” she says. “They were very nice and helpful.”
For the New Year, Davis has set a goal to try and find another job — this time perhaps as a private housekeeper.
In the meantime, she wonders if enough people know about the Woodyard Fund.
“Sometimes people don’t know where to look but help is out there,” she says.
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 Jan. 25
In memory of William “Buster” Johnson, $1,000
Bonnie L. Williams, $100
William H. Dillow, $20
In memory of John V. Platt, $150
In honor of grandsons Ford, Jacob, Kip and Tripp, $50
In memory of W.A. “Bill” Jovanelly, $50
Richard and Glenda Lominick, in memory of Ilene Partridge, $50
Mary Adkins Sunday School class at Westside Baptist Church, $50
Kathy Hawks, $25
William L. Belvin Jr., $75
Joseph M. Anderson, $50
In memory of Harry S. Dent, $50
In memory of Jimmy M. Boyett, $200
Bug Falls, $25
In memory of Gladys Wrightson, $100
In memory of Caro and Carmen Slice, $100
In memory of Jewell Price, $100
Columbia Branch of the National Association of University Women, $200
Strickland & Keels, P.A., $100
St. John Neumann Crisis Ministry, $200
Wally and Delores E. Graves, in memory of our son, Gregory Todd Graves, $100
Tom and Betty J. Taylor, $100
Daniel L. Tufford, $150
Willing Workers Sunday School class at West Side Baptist Church, $25
TOTAL THIS WEEK, $3,245
TOTAL TO DATE, $82,172