Getting a power bill that is three times as high as it should be would come as a shock to anyone.
This was the case for Dennis and Tracy Davis in Hopkins. A malfunctioning heat pump used three times the normal amount of energy, resulting in a bill that totaled more than $2,000.
“I approached the owners of the unit and they politely declined to help,” Dennis said. “I went to Legal Aid and I’ve been repeatedly calling Wateree for help, but haven’t made progress.”
Thankfully for the Davis family, they had heard about the Salvation Army’s willingness to help through the Woodyard Fund.
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The fund, which was started in 1816 by the Ladies Benevolent Society, provided firewood and coal to families in need. The society turned management over to the Salvation Army around the 20th century.
William E. Gonzales, then editor of The State newspaper, began publicizing the fund and those it helped in 1930, a tradition that continues today.
For Davis, it was a relief to hear that someone would help.
“After nine ‘no’s, it was a breath of hope to get the one ‘yes.’”
The fund helps pay energy bills for Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry County residents who are in crisis situations.
Dennis said even though the Salvation Army usually has a limit of $300 per person, they were able to make an exception and give him $500 toward the bill.
Even though it wasn’t all he needed, Dennis was grateful they could help in any way.
“I thank them for finding it in their heart to go above and beyond the call of duty. Out of all the agencies, they are the only ones that I found that would help.”
The fund, which runs from November to mid-March, relies on the generous donations of the Midlands community.