For one Columbia family, bills from everyday living expenses, child care and unexpected car repairs started piling up to the point where they needed help quickly.
Trenisha Anderson said she could not keep up with her bills and could not pay her electric bill herself.
“Everything got a bit much for me, overwhelming,” she said.
Anderson works part time as a custodian and said she is very involved in her children’s education. Her 11-year-old daughter recently made honor roll and her 7-year-old son is one of the top students in his grade.
She could not stand the thought of having her children living in a home with the utilities off.
“(Education) is everything for me and for them, especially when I didn’t graduate high school,” she said. “It’s extremely important.”
Anderson is part of a network of mothers in Columbia and found out through them that the Salvation Army’s Woodyard Fund could potentially help her out.
After quickly applying, Anderson said she was elated when she found out she was approved.
“I was screaming for joy, saying, ‘Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Lord!’” she said. “(I was grateful) that he heard my prayer.”
She said the Salvation Army, especially director of programs Melanie Miller, was helpful as she was going through the process.
“The people there are so willing to help you, and they want to help you,” she said. “They pray with you. ... They do help the public, and I am a witness to that.”
Anderson said she encourages the community to help if they can, as their gifts can make a world of difference in the lives of people who are struggling.
“Know that you’re doing God’s will and ... you’re helping somebody that’s less fortunate,” she said.
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.
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 Jan. 8
Rodney E. Harmon, $25; Ross A. and Barbara A. Gamble, $30; Jacqueline S. Cominotti, $30; Mrs. David E. Monts/Mary J. Monts, $100, in memory of David E. Monts; Gail H. Watts, $50, in memory of Ray O. Watts; Barbara D. Summerford, $100; William E. and Susan H. Ratteree, $50; The Taylor Family Donor Advised Fund of Central Carolina Community Foundation, $500; James H. and Iris S. Harman, $50; Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, $20; RHW-2, LLC-Operating Account Richard H. Wallace, Jr., $200; Suzanne and Mark Taylor, $500, in memory of Al Barton; Barbara B. Boyd, $200; Barbara C. Hevener, $50; Lester W. Johnson, Jr., $100; T.W. Salmons, III and Barbara R. Salmons, $50; Galen S. McWilliams, $20, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Beale; Grace P. Lovette, $100, in memory of Chief Doug Lovette; Elmer and Mary Frick, $100; Emily White, $100, in memory of Lamar White; Mary E. Shirley, $50; Tyler Baldwin, Jr. and Ellen C. Baldwin, $500; Betty Ann Shealy, $150; Anonymous, $100; Tree of Life Sisterhood, $100; Ned and Judith C. Gwin, $50; Employees at L-J Inc, $2,000; Miles B. and Ann Addy, $50; Windsor United Methodist Women, $473; Paul S. League, $100; Jim and Terry Smith, $500; David C. Wylie, III and Leslie H. Wylie, $40; Cliff Hedgepath, $500, in memory of Murray and Myrtle Hedgepath; Jeffrey R. Abrams, $100, in memory of Katherine Abrams; Henri Bishop Sunday School Class of Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church, $50; Kendrick Alling Clements, $50; William J. and Regina B. Moody, $100; Winifred R. McMaster, $200; Riverland Hills Baptist Church Faith Sunday School Class, $50; Annie L. Buggs, $300; Overton G. and Yolanda C. Ganong, $50; Anonymous, $250; Lenair and Ann H. Amick, $50; Margaret R. Buchanan, $100, in memory of John C. Buchanan, III; Mt Hebron United Methodist Church Hands for God Sunday School Class Acct, $50; The Lydia Sunday School Class – Green Hills Baptist Church of West Columbia, $50; S. Valder, $100, in memory of Sue; Thomas H. Fearrington, $100
Weekly total: $8,588
Total to date: $59,193