Even though Deatra Niles has a demanding, full-time job caring for others, it can still be tough trying to make ends meet.
“A lot of people don’t make a lot of money these days,” she says. “It’s just not that easy anymore.”
As the mother of a teenager and primary provider to a niece and nephew, the Columbia resident has a full household to take care of. And when she’s not taking care of people at home, she’s taking care of others at work.
Niles, 39, works at a local adult care facility, cares for the elderly and those who cannot help themselves.
It’s a job that requires patience and understanding, she says, but having worked at the home for nearly 12 years, she enjoys it a great deal.
But when Niles started to come up short on her monthly bills in December, she didn’t know where to turn. That’s when a friend told her about the Woodyard Fund, administered by the Salvation Army.
The Woodyard Fund helps people in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry counties with their power bills during the coldest months of the year — November through March.
After just one call, Niles had an appointment and $300 of her overdue bill was paid.
“I was very relieved,” she says. “I had been trying to find help for a while.”
Since then, she said, she’s been telling others about the fund and the generosity of those who donate to it.
“There’s a lot of people out there who still need help,” she says. “It’s hard right now.”
Woodyard Fund contributions
For the week ending Feb. 22
Joy Sunday School class at Bethel United Methodist Church, $100
Sarah J. Sanchez, $100
In memory of Mark and Andy McKee, $25
Rubin Ridgway Sunday School class at Westminster Presbyterian Church, $75
In memory of Jennifer Lynn Bignon, $200
Connie Hammond Mission Action Group at Greenlawn Baptist Church, $25
Mizpah Circle of International Kings Daughters and Sons, $20
In memory of my son, Welborn Branham, $100
Souper Bowl Sunday gift, $130
Patricia Snyder, $500
Wally and Delores Graves, $100
Tom and Betty J. Taylor, $125
David G. and Joan R. Owen Escrow Fund of Central Carolina Community Foundation, $500
In memory of Toppy Koon, $150
In memory of Jerelene Elliott, $50
TOTAL THIS WEEK $2,350
TOTAL TO DATE $94,380.50
Reach Lucas at (803) 771-8657.