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Local network teams up to help widow repair home

The Mebane Enterprise - 3/9/2017

Local Mebane resident Doreatha, 82, is not one to ask for help. Now a local network has stepped up to do it for her, attempting to raise $15,000 to keep her house from being condemned.

Doreatha isn't just undergoing chemotherapy treatments. She isn't just a widowed mother who has three special needs children, one, Damien, 35, who is autistic and lives with her. She's someone who used to rely on her husband ? a veteran and minister ? to upkeep the house, but now finds herself in a tough place nearly two years after he passed away.

With few options, no money, the ceiling separating from the walls of her Mebane dwelling, and the floor a mess after enduring long-term moisture damage, Doreatha finally approached City of Mebane officials to see what might be done.

That's when city inspectors Keith Williams and Cliff Ayscue got involved. Instead of perhaps pursuing the route of condemnation, they saw a woman in need and decided to try to work with her.

Williams got in touch with general contractor Mark Lindsay, who was doing some work in Mebane at the time. Along with Williams and Ayscue, Lindsay began taking on the project during his free time, even knowing at some point money for the supplies would have to come through.

Linsday reached out to an acquaintance and realtor in Greensboro, Sharon Canovali, who teamed up with colleague Jennie McNamara to enlist some tech savvy minds to start a fundraising effort that would help out Doreatha and her family.

Canovali brushed off acclaim for her good deeds, shifting attention toward those people who got the ball rolling, including Doreatha herself.

"First of all, she's not someone who asks for help easily," Canovali said of Doreatha, "so it was a big first step for her.

"And the contractors, they stepped outside of their jobs to help," she continued. "In a big city or something they would have just condemned it. But they didn't do that. They tried to get her help."

Days ago, Canovali began a $15,000 fundraising campaign on dedicated to the cause.

The mission statement includes details about Doreatha and her late husband, August, who always cared for those around them.

"She has lived a benevolent life and now she is the one who needs help," the statement reads. "While Doreatha cared for the people in her life, August took care of everything else and his loss is great, in her life. Since then, she too has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently receiving treatments? after investigation, the city determined, without needed repairs, they'd have no choice but to condemn the home."

Canovali has been working with Rick Smith at Mebane's First Savings and Loans, as well as folks at Truliant Federal Credit Union to try and help fund some donations to the project.

You can also help, by logging on to the You Caring page.

"It's her turn," Canovali said. "She's been so giving, and now it's her turn to get something back."


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