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detroit man burns woods to stay warm

Don (pictured near the fireplace), a father of four, once worked as a commercial roofer and a butcher but had to walk Detroit’s east side stripping abandoned homes for wood to keep his family warm, until a kind donor paid his utility bills, Fox 2 News reports.

Since losing his job, Don has had to brave freezing temperatures in search of wood he would use to heat food to eat and water to clean dishes. His family would use that same wood to heat water for bathing. Don donates plasma twice a week for money. He says he is disparately looking for work, but finding wood to keep warm is already a fulltime job.

“It takes like a half a day to find the wood, bring it home, and it takes another half a day to, initially, cut the wood up and then create a fire,” he said.

But just a day after Fox 2 aired Don’s story, the newsroom’s social media accounts and phones were overwhelmed with supporters willing to help the man out. The donor who agreed to pay for his utility bills wanted to remain anonymous.

Watch Don’s story here:

“I’d just like to say thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart and from my children,” Don said. “We thank you all, we love you for what you’ve done for us. I’ve never had anybody do anything to this magnitude for myself, or even for my children.”

His children, amazingly, are doing well in school despite their home situation but could still use some help.

Rev. W.J. Rideout of wAll God’s People Church will be accepting non-monetary donations, including clothing and firewood, this Friday through Sunday. Here’s the info:All God’s People Church
5201 French Road
Detroit, MI 48213
313-492-5009Friday, 5-7 p.m.
Saturday, Noon-3 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.CLOTHING SIZESFemale, age 10: Sizes 12 for shirt and pants
Male, age 14: 31 waist, 30 length, medium shirt
Female, age 17: Medium shirt, size 7 bottoms
Female, age 20: Medium shirt, size 7 bottoms

If you want to make a monetary donation, you can give at The account’s goal was to raise $6,000 for the family. That amount was raised in about 90 minutes.

This is one of those special cases where humanity showed up. Let’s hope Don is able to get back on his feet soon, so he and his family can thrive.

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