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Danielle & Joel's Success Story: Duke Energy's Helping Home Fund in Mitchell County



"Danielle” and "Joel” are in their 60’s and live in a holler out in rural Mitchell County. They live on a limited monthly income from their social security and struggle each month to make it. Danielle struggles with being diabetic, having bad knees, and battles arthritis making it difficult for her to walk some days. Her husband, Joel, has had heart issues and suffers pain from a back injury, at which required him to have surgery. They live in a simple farm house that was purchased from Danielle’s aunt that passed away a few years back.

A WAMY staff member met them in 2019 after they applied for weatherization and in need of help replacing their roof. They showed her their home and the garden that they plant every year using the garden voucher provided by WAMY Community Action. With this massive garden they produce many vegetables: potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, watermelons, lettuce, etc. They pick all this with some help from the neighbors and feed the whole holler around their property. Danielle cans and cooks for anyone who is need of a meal or just for anyone who happens to drop by. She also takes food to others in the community that are in need.


While weatherizing their home they discovered that their water heater was on the brink of going out. Danielle was also in desperate need of a new refrigerator. Theirs leaked and was a huge energy burden. The range didn’t work all the time, a couple of the burners were out and the oven only working on one side. Danielle cooks a lot of meals for others, and with the range not working properly this caused extra stress on her body.


The Helping Home funds provided by Duke Energy were used to provide a new hot water heater for this family. With the appliance allowance WAMY purchased a new energy star refrigerator and stove for Joel and Danielle. They also used the allocated funding to clean out their chimney. They will also receive a new roof on their home.


The services that WAMY Community Action, the Helping Home Fund, Duke Energy, and the Weatherization program provided to them will make their lives easier and more comfortable for the rest of their time in that small, sleepy holler they call home.


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