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December News from Americans Helping Americans® Bridging the divide for 35, a new roof for Christmas, and more!

This month marks the end of a productive and successful year, culminating in a home repair project in West Virginia which included a new roof that was repaired just in time for winter. In Georgia, a single dad struggling to support his son was helped to get back on his feet with a pair of new, non-slip shoes required for a new job. And in Kentucky, 35 elementary school students received new laptop computers as part of our ongoing mission to bridge the digital divide in the hard-pressed community.

A Home is Repaired Just in Time for Christmas

For Americans Helping Americans® partner Big Creek People in Action which operates a home rehab program in the summer in McDowell County, West Virginia, replacing leaking roofs are challenging and expensive.

“You need to know what you are going to do or you can really make a mess of someone’s roof,” says BCPIA co-executive director Marsha Timpson. “We do try to do at least one a year but it is so hard to pick out the person that is going to benefit from it. I think everyone in McDowell County needs a new roof and bathroom floor!”

This summer, she chose Earl and Denise's house, which was leaking so badly on the backside that it was beginning to destroy the ceilings and some walls inside. Even if it was repaired soon, “there was going to be a great deal of damage from it.”

After weeks of volunteer work, a group of college students arrived and were able to finish the job just in time before the first snowfall. With Christmas day expected to be as low as 38° with rain forecast for the entire week after, their work was finished right on time!

A Struggling Dad Receives the Assistance He Needs to Get Back on his Feet

Bob is a single dad who had been unemployed while struggling to care for his young son.

He was eager to find a job, but did not have proper clothes to go to interviews and could not even afford to put gas in his car to look for work. Plus, one of his tires was flat and needed to be replaced.

Bob did not think he had anywhere to turn for help, until he learned of Americans Helping Americans® partner in Cleveland, Georgia, Caring Hands Ministry.

Thanks to our supporters, Bob was able to receive a small financial grant from Caring Hands which enabled him to purchase the necessary clothes, replace his tire and put a tank of gas in his car. Within a short time, Bob was offered a job working in a local restaurant – but there was a catch, he needed a new pair of non-slip shoes.

“When he got a job, we were able to buy him the necessary shoes that his job required,” said executive director Lafaye Murphy. “He still has his job and the father and son are doing well.”

Bridging the Digital Divide for 35 Students in Kentucky

In 2017, Americans Helping Americans® initiated a pilot program to help bridge the digital divide for students attending Beattyville Elementary School, in hard hit Lee County, Kentucky, providing 30 of those most in need with all-in-one desktop computers.

With the overwhelming success of the program, we have been able to continue the program each year thanks to our supporters.

This December, instead of desktop computers, 35 students who were selected by our partner, Sherry Lanham, director of the Lee County Family Resource Center located in the school, in consultation with the schools’ faculty, to receive laptop computers.

In addition, all the school’s fourth and fifth graders wrote letters explaining why they needed a computer at home and how they would use it to help them with their school work and in everyday life.

“Over the past few years and we have been able to give out approximately 100 computers," reported Sherry.

“This makes several years that I have been able to get this grant and I know it has made many children very happy.”