Ms. Wanda Phillips is a 69 year old widow with numerous health issues including inner ear problems affecting her balance, glaucoma affecting her eyesight, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. She has no children. She has lived 16 years without hot water, three of which were without running water at all until her cousin paid to have another well drilled three years ago. She still has to have bottled water brought in to drink and cook with due to high levels of iron and sulfur in the new well water. Typically, she heats up water on her kerosene stove in order to take a sponge bath. Occasionally, she will go to her cousin’s home to take a real bath. Most of the time she washes her clothes out by hand.
She depends on her Social Security check and an SSI check for her total income per month. She receives food stamps and makes a trip to the food bank once a month. Due to health issues she is unable to drive and must be picked up by van to take her to her Doctor appointments which are funded by Medicaid.
She is a member of a very small fifteen person Bricetown Church but has not been able to attend lately for health reasons. The pastor and his wife supply her with food for her “family” which consists of 13 cats!
After three big days of destruction followed by reconstruction Ms. Wanda is well on her way to having a new modern bathroom complete with walk in shower andHOT WATER! On Thursday we removed the fixtures, flooring, floor joists, galvanized water pipe and cast iron drains. The galvanized supply line from the well house to the home was dug up and replaced as well. Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday resulted in getting all drain lines in and 90% of the plumbing complete. The first section of subfloor was replaced which allowed us to connect the hot water heater and set the commode.
We would like to thank the members of the Anderson District Volunteers in Mission, Buncombe Street UMC and Mountain View UMC for their many hours of hard work to get to this point.
As of this past Friday at 5:00, Ms. Wanda was able to take a HOT shower in her own home for the first time in 16 years! Praise the Lord! As you can imagine she is overjoyed. She tearfully said, “I don’t know how I can thank all of you enough for what you have done for me. I feel like I am in someone else’s house! Everything you have done is so nice.”
Thanks to all who have given so freely of their time, money and, especially prayers to make the completion of this project possible. A special thank you goes to Paul Favreau from Westminster UMC for leading this project. Since inception he has donated almost 100 hours. Many thanks, Paul!
Good News! Phase I of Operation Wanda is complete. The bathroom and expanded closet are trimmed out and fully functional with plenty of clean hot water. Thanks to Phillip Deal, Roger Estep and Gene Claypool for taking us over the goal line.
Phase II will happen when the weather warms up. It will consist of removing the ceiling tiles in the two bedrooms that were damaged by rainwater when a large tree fell on the roof. The roof has been repaired but the tiles and rooms are full of mold. Once the old tiles are removed and the rooms dried out we will replace the ceiling with new vinyl clad sheetrock. Look for announcements about this in April or May.
We take so much for granted. Thanks to all who helped change Ms. Wanda’s life for the better. As she has said on numerous occasions, “The Lord is the best friend you will ever have.” Amen.