Betty Parker sits on her front porch as four puppies vie for her attention at her feet. “There is a lot of suffering behind close doors” she says, gazing off into the horizon, “you can only suffer for so long before its time to ask for help.”
As a strong Boston-bred native living in Norfolk, Betty Parker takes great pride in her self reliance. “My father raised me to be independent; I can do anything a man can do” said Betty, “I can even make repairs around the house, to an extent.” That extent was reached when her water heater began to fail and her furnace died. At 67 years of age, Betty suffers from Parkinson’s disease; its slow, methodical march through her nervous system made even the simplest daily task a monumental undertaking. One of those tasks became boiling water multiple times a day for bathing, washing, and cooking.
Betty’s hands trembled under the oppressive weight of the large, cast iron cooking pot she carried over to the sink. She began to demonstrate the agonizing, painful ritual of filling the pot with water and lugging it down the hall and to the tub. As the temperatures began to plummet, Betty was faced with a new tribulation, the prospect of a heatless winter. Wringing her hands beside a small space heater, Betty sighed then smiled. “I’m not gonna complain, there are people out there a lot worse off than I am”.
Many people dismiss the idea of a guardian angel, but in todays cold and detached world, some just earn the title. Meet Sue, a life long native of Norfolk and friend of Betty. Sue has spent her life in service to those in need. Whether it was on an organizational level or personal, you’re sure to find Sue at the helm. When Sue realized that Betty was living without essential services in her home, she immediately sprung into action and immediately starting hitting walls. “Everyone has an excuse about why they can’t help but no one offers solutions.” Sue called just about every state agency and private charity in search of help for Betty, and when those attempts were fruitless she began calling local businesses. After calling nearly every home improvement company in her area, Sue was ready to throw her hands up in defeat. At that very moment something fateful occurred; Sue looked out of her window, and noticed a Michael & Son Services truck pulling into her neighbor’s driveway. She figured it was worth one last shot, and called the number on the truck. “I called on a Saturday and expected to just get a voicemail” said Sue, “but what happened next left me speechless,” she continued.
Sue contacted Michael & Son on a Saturday morning, and by the afternoon had secured heat and hot water for Betty’s home. “I’ve been dealing with not for profits and government agencies for decades now, and I’ve never seen a group work so fast” said Sue. “I knew right away that they genuinely cared about not only Betty, but the entire community around them” she continued.
Today, Betty Parker and her four dogs have a warm house with hot water, today there is one person suffering behind a closed door. The Michael & Son Cares Program is on a mission to not only help those in need, but to inspire others to do the same. We call upon every individual, business and organization with the means to make a difference to do just that.
If you would like to join us in our mission to make a difference, click here to find out how you can help. Also, if you or someone you know is in need of essential home repairs, visit us at michaelandson.com to learn how you can apply for the Michael & Son Cares Program. You can watch the Michael & Son Cares Program in action on the TV series “Helping Hands” every weekend, check below for local listings and air times.
Washington DC WRC NBC4
February 21st 9:30 AM
February 21st 9:00 AM
February 22nd 11:30 PM
February 21st 6:30 PM
February 21st 9:30 AM