Local News

Raleigh Couple Has Reason To Be Thankful Despite Months Of Hardship

Posted January 17, 2002

— A Raleigh couple has endured more than their share of tragedies in the past eight months. They lost their home to fire, lost thousands of dollars for repair work that was not done, all while battling a life-threatening disease. Today, they have reason to be thankful.

In May 2001, fire badly damaged the home where George and Juanita Harris had lived for more than 30 years. With Juanita already battling cancer, the tragedy compounded when they paid a contractor $15,000 in insurance money to start repairs. He did some clean-up, put up some trusses and later disappeared.

"I would call on the phone and he wouldn't answer or return my calls," George Harris said.

Friends then referred the Harrises to Mike Miller. He kindly told them that he could not do the work they needed for the money they had. But their predicament dogged him and kept him up nights. Until one morning, when he decided to take a chance.

Miller asked all the construction suppliers he had worked with over the years to donate to the project, and they did.

"I think everybody was touched from this. I think a lot of the suppliers were just as enthused over doing this as I was," said Miller.

Through the kindness of strangers, the Harrises will get a new house. And knowing that, Miller will sleep well at night.

"I just felt like this was something we were going to make happen," he said.

While much of supplies are being donated, the Harrises will be using about $30,000 in insurance money to help pay for the work.

After months of living with relatives, they hope to be in their new home within 45 days.

As for the other contractor, the Harrises say Tony Anderson owes them $10,000 for work that was never done.

A trust fund has been established for the Harrises. You can make your donations at any BB&T branch in care of George and Juanita Harris.

You can also call

919-266-0598

or

919-524-6915

.

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