Linda Randall, a widowed state retiree on a fixed income, found herself unable to pay the full amount of her electricity bill, which had gotten up to $405.54.
But one night she saw an announcement that SCE&G had made a large donation to The Salvation Army’s Woodyard Fund, which helps people in need with high utility bills. She took a chance and called – but wasn’t selected.
She called again, without success. But a review of her case following a third call led to acceptance for help.
“It worked out and I thank God for that,” she said. “Right now I think I can swing it, now that I’ve gotten help.”
The Woodyard Fund helps residents in crisis in Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry counties pay for utilities. 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 became a tradition the newspaper continues every winter.
The fund usually runs from late November through mid-March, when temperatures generally are the coldest.
Randall said she encourages anyone struggling to pay the utility bill to reach out to the organization, even if it doesn’t work out the first time – or two.
“Like I was always told, ‘nothing beats a failure but a try’,” she said. “It was a big help. If I didn’t try I would have been missing out on this blessing.”
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.
Donations to date
Week of Jan. 30
Tim Blackwell, $1; John R. and Carol C. Roof, $500; Jean Mack, $35; Richard T. and Phyllis F. Laughridge, $100; Amy E. Shell, $100; Mary A. Garvin, $100; Strickland & Keels, P.A., $50; Greg and Sherry Stark, $100; Anonymous, $25; Anonymous, $5; J.B. Kneece, $200, in honor of YHWH-JIREH (JESUS) my provider; Eddie C. and Mattie D. Guess, $75; Elizabeth A. and William C. Barna, Jr., $25; Beta Omega Chapter # 8363, $50; Anonymous, $300; Jim and Nina Smith, $100; Clyde B. and Janice Pinkerton-Hoyle, $50; Roberta M. Monts, $100; Christopher G. and Dianne C. McGreevy, $800; Richard H. Demarest and Oscar E. Mitchell, $100; Larry A. and Nancy B. Cochcroft, $50, in memory of Gavin Cochcroft; Frederick N. and Delphine Washington, $100; LTC and Mrs. Arthur A. Arduna, $100
Weekly total: $3,066
Total to date: $78,340.87