Woodyard Fund | ‘I walked in there with hope’

rfriedman@thestate.comDecember 22, 2013 

— It was one week before Christmas, and Sabrina Green’s power was about to be turned off when she walked into the Salvation Army looking for help.

“I walked in there with hope, just hope,” she said.

The mother of four supports her family with her monthly disability payments. An unexpected car repair had left her with a tighter budget than normal, and she was unable to pay her electricity bill. She didn’t want to ask for assistance, but the Northeast Columbia resident was out of options. No electricity would mean no heat for her and her four children.

“It was my last resort,” she said.

After explaining her situation to Salvation Army representatives, Green was approved for assistance from the Woodyard Fund. It was the relief she’d been hoping for.

The Woodyard Fund helps pay energy bills for Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry County residents who are in crisis situations. Managed by the Salvation Army, it usually runs from late November through mid-March, when temperatures generally are the lowest. Each applicant is screened to verify need and to ensure that no other resources are available.

Green says she’d never heard of the Woodyard Fund before last week but is grateful that it was in place to lend her a helping hand.

“Sometimes people go through hardship, and this program is a way to help those in need.”

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 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The phone line for assistance will be set to receive voice mail messages at 8:30 a.m., each Wednesday. The first 30 people to leave messages will be contacted for appointments for the following week. At other times, the line will provide general information about utility assistance and other programs.

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