Tanya Langs, a Columbia resident, takes care of other children during after school hours.
When the Oct. 4 floods severely damaged the Midlands, it also put a damper on Langs’ income.
When schools were closed following the floods, parents also were home from work – and that meant they did not need her services. While her income dropped, she saw a spike in her utility bills, coupled with the fact she had to feed her three children breakfast and lunch, which are provided to them at school.
“That affected me real bad,” she said. “I had to feed them every day, and we ran out of food.”
When she realized she could not pay her utility bills, she decided to look up a charity that she commonly donated to in the past.
Langs said she always dropped money in the Salvation Army’s red kettles, commonly seen outside of businesses during the holiday season. She learned about the Woodyard Fund, which helped her keep her utilities on.
“They’re good people, and they help all around the world,” she said. “I felt so grateful. ... The Salvation Army is always helping. We need to trust and believe in them and thank them for what they’re doing.”
The Woodyard Fund helps residents in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry counties pay for utilities after experiencing unemployment, reduced work hours, unexpected financial crisis and limited income.
The fund dates to 1816, when the Ladies Benevolent Society provided firewood and coal to families in need. In 1930, The State newspaper’s editor William E. Gonzales began publicizing the fund. It has been a tradition the newspaper continues every winter.
The fund has raised $4,450 since Thanksgiving, and the Salvation Army of Columbia has seen more requests for help after October’s floods.
How to give help: Donations can be mailed to the Woodyard Fund, c/o The Salvation Army of the Midlands, P.O. Box 2786, 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 (803) 462-5093 for more information or to make an appointment for assistance.
Through Dec. 4
▪ Anonymous, $1,000; Jane Dunlap, $250; Charles Dunlap, $250; Anonymous, $100; Marynell Wooten, $100, in memory of daughter Kendall Marie; Suzanne Thorpe, $150; Wade Fisher, $500; Anna Amick, $75; Charles and Virginia Greene, $150; Duane and Ruth Youch, $100; Rodney Harmon, $25; Janet and Robert Martin, $100; Dick Clark, $100; Dorothy Crowe, $100; Florence Bowers, $30; W.D. and Mertice Summer Jr., $50, in memory of son Dicke Summer; Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Folder Jr., $200; Thelma Tillis, $20; Laura Johnson, $50; Neda Osterman, $100; Joyce Hallenbeck, $500; Betty Sisk, $500.