Neighbors Pitch In to Help Holly Springs Grandmother
Posted September 27, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
HOLLY SPRINGS — Some people in Holly Springs are definitely the kind of neighbors anyone would like to have. They saw a neighbor in need and decided to help.
To say that Betty McDonald lives in poor conditions is an understatement, but McDonald will not have to live that way much longer.
She is a 41-year-old grandmother. She lives in a rundown, bug-infested trailer with no electricity, no water and no bathroom.
"The bathroom, it's not in focus at all. It's just shut down. I never use it. We use this commode," McDonald said.
McDonald has lived like this since her utilities were turned off a year ago. To eat, she goes to the local convenience store. To bathe, she goes to the home of her oldest daughter who says she is helping her mother all she can.
"We know we're her children, and we have a responsibility because that's our mother, but we also have our own responsibilities," McDonald's daughter, Joyce Evans, explained. "I've got two children to look after."
When a group of long-time Holly Springs residents heard of McDonald's plight, they had to see it for themselves.
"It was just horrible," said Parrish Womble of Save Our Town. "It was unbelievable. It was hard to believe to go in and stay a few minutes. I couldn't stay long. I had to come out."
That is when members of the group Save Our Town decided to make it their mission to find McDonald a better home.
Group members plan to take her to apply for SSI or pay out of their own pockets for her to live in a local group home.
What makes this story even more ironic is that Holly Springs is one of the fastest growing towns in the Triangle, and McDonald lives just down the road from half-million dollar homes.
Members of Save Our Town hope to enlist the help of affluent newcomers in their effort to help those less fortunate.
"Actually we are save our citizens, because our citizens are the town regardless as to who they are whether they're white, black, new or been here for awhile. If we can help them, then that's what we're gonna do," said Womble.
McDonald says she has been on government assistance before, but she was cut off several years ago. Her daughter says her mother has a mental disability and should qualify for SSI.