AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – We told the story of an Augusta woman in need and CSRA viewers responded overwhelmingly.
“There have been so many responses that I haven’t even been able to call everyone back yet,” said Lynda Sims.
Last Thursday’s story on Lynda Sims and her dog “Duchess” being out of air in this extreme heat and unable to go to a local cooling center showed us all here at WJBF how much the CSRA cares.
“People have put some cash into my hand, people have been giving to the Go Fund Me page and one lady even bought a window air conditioner for us, which we put in the bedroom,” Sims told me. “We’re able to sleep at night. Duchess sends a special shout out to her because that has been a real blessing.”
The generous A/C donor, who I’ll call Marie for this story, wants to remain anonymous as many contacted did.
I asked, “When you saw her story, what did you think?”
“My heart broke,” she replied.
Though she’s unemployed just like Sims, she told me she could not pass up the chance to help Sims.
“I couldn’t have slept good that night knowing that I had an air conditioner blowing on me and that there was someone suffering that I knew about,” said ‘Marie’.
Marie called NewsChannel 6 almost immediately after we aired the story. Emails poured in, Facebook inboxes started coming and comments once the story was posted on social media.
“I initially just did the interview to try to get a cooling shelter where you could take your dog,” Sims said.
We spoke with the Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Joanie Smith last week too. Smith said this was a conversation that needed to take place with risk management, but for obvious reasons cooling centers could not accept pets.
There was one more message waiting for me on my voicemail this week and that was an anonymous call for Sims.
“I would like to pay for her home to have air conditioning whether it has to be the electric bill and an air conditioner put in or whatever the situation is,” that caller stated.
Perhaps this caller and the myriad of others who contacted us felt compelled by a higher calling like Marie did.
“Jesus puts something in your path to make better and you make it better you have performed a service not only for your fellow man, but it’s like you’ve restored Jesus’ faith in you as you show your faith in Him,” Marie explained.
Here is a little more about Linda. She worked as a chaplain for hospice for about ten years, but was laid off in 2014. She said she’s only been able to find part-time work since then and she really feels like her breakthrough is coming and she will be hired soon. She’s hoping to find work as an insurance agent, but she loves working with dogs too.