Woman receives help with furnace after community steps up to hel - WNEM TV 5

Woman receives help with furnace after community steps up to help

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Ruth Rodgers reached out to the TV5 Rescue Squad in June because she was worried about her furnace.

Months later she was still without heat.

"I bundle up. I bundle up in my home because that's all I can do," she said.

This was going to be her second winter in a row without heat.

"My furnace broke," Rodgers said. "You just don't appreciate it until you don't have it anymore. And when it's gone, it's gone."

Rodgers first reached out to TV5 in June for help replacing her furnace.

"It's been hard, really hard to try to stay warm," Rodgers said.

She said she would fix it if she could.

"Welfare won't help me with the furnace because I'm behind on my taxes, my property taxes. I'm trying to get those paid, but it's hard to come up with money," Rodgers said.

Her temporary solution of space heaters is adding to the overall problem because she said they come with a hefty bill - one she can't afford.

"I had a $1,300 Consumers bill in the spring and now my bill is $400 a month," Rodgers said.

This year she is hoping for a Christmas miracle. To her, that means a new furnace.

"If someone could help me somehow, someway. I would really appreciate it," she said.

After Rodgers' story aired on TV5 on Dec. 12 her Christmas miracle came true. There was an outpouring of support from her community.

"You don't understand how grateful you are until you don't have something," she said. "It's overwhelming. I just cried and cried and cried."

Rodgers is also getting some help with her home heating situation through social media.

"It just exploded into something I never expected," said Dennis Rodgers, Ruth's son.

He set up a GoFundMe page to help his mother. He said it has more than doubled his fundraising goal. Now there's enough money to fix the furnace and help his mother live a better life in her home.

"I'm very thankful for it and we can use the rest to pay her taxes, her Consumers Energy bills and fix any little thing that we can fix around the house. It's all going for that, nothing more," he said.

Crews from two heating companies stopped by Rodgers' house pledging to help. They evaluated what it would take to fix the furnace.

One of the men temporarily repaired her furnace and ordered the part needed to fix it, free of charge.

"People think to help you out and it's really great. And boy you better believe I'll be helping people too now when I can," she said.

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