Woodyard Fund: Woman said help to keep lights on just a call away

Each month, residents from all over the Midlands are helped out with their power bills by the Salvation Army, thanks to the generous donations that come from the Woodyard Fund.

The process is simple for those who need help with their bills and are in a crisis situations.

For many people like Emma Green of Gadsden, they don’t ask for help often, but when they do, it is greatly appreciated.

“My daughter told me about them and said that they can pay your light bill,” Green said of the Salvation Army. “They helped me about two years ago and they are just so easy to deal with.”

The fund traces its origins to 1816, when the Ladies Benevolent Society provided firewood, and later coal, to families in need. The society turned management of the charity over to the Salvation Army around the turn of the 20th century.

In 1930, William E. Gonzales, then editor of The State newspaper, began publicizing the fund and those it helped, a tradition that continues today. The fund helps pay energy bills for Richland, Lexington, Fairfield and Newberry County residents who are in crisis situations, like Green.

Whether problems stem from illnesses, unemployment or reductions in income, the Salvation Army continues to reach out for the community’s generosity to help families in need.

For Green, it was an easy process.

“All I had to do was call and ask for help. I try to do my best to help other people and I’m so glad that they helped me.”

The Woodyard Fund typically runs from late-November until Mid-March.

The fund generated $4,440 in donations for the week ending Jan. 16, bringing the total in this year’s campaign to $80,099.66 so far.