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Gadsden County Senior Gets Help from Community

Willie Cobb
Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 13:52:36-05

QUINCY, FL (WTXL) -- The community is helping a Gadsden County senior citizen live on her own by raising money to buy her a heating and cooling unit.

An online effort has been underway for about a month now to help Willie Cobbs, a 91-year-old woman from Quincy.

"She still cooks for herself, she still can drive," said Skye Christian. "She's just a very compassionate person."

Christian met Cobb last month at her home in Quincy.

"She's been blessed to live to be 91 years young, and she's outlived everybody," she said. "I just felt compelled to help her, because she doesn't have anybody else."

Christian started to raise money online. The goal is to raise $3,500 to buy and install a heating and cooling unit. She and others pitched in to get Cobb space heaters during the winter months.

"Right now, it's cold, but we had to do something that would help her long-term, where she won't be sitting in any type of extreme weather."

In Gadsden County, about 200 people take advantage of Gadsden Senior Services, but the organization admits it can't meet every need because of funding.

"There's always money needed for a match, because we're going to only receive so much through the federally funded programs," said Berta Kemp, board chair for Gadsden Senior Services.

The organization is part of a 14-county agency that is dependent on federal and community money.

"Our seniors here in Gadsden County are very important to us, and we want to make sure when it's cold, that they are kept warm -- and when it's hot, that they are cool," Kemp said.

"We don't want to have anybody left behind," Christian said, "and we want everybody to feel like we love them."

Gadsden Senior Services does offer home energy assistance for low-income senior, but they must meet certain criteria.

The Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAP) is federally funded. Eligible households can get up to $600 per season. To be eligible for assistance, households must have:

- a documented healing or cooling emergency

- at least one individual age 60 or older in the home, and

- a gross household annual income equal to or less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines

To contribute to Christian's fundraiser for Cobb, click HERE.