An elderly man living without running water for the past nine months now has his service reconnected, all thanks to a generous donor.
Wendell Williams is a fan of rainy days. “Days like today, I got water for another, at least two or three weeks,” he said, smiling.
His water was shut off because of a bill so high, he couldn’t pay it. The city said he had a leak. “Total thing came to six hundred and something dollars. I said, well, I just do without water because I can’t afford to pay it, and I can’t pay that kind of money no way,” he said.
Williams made use of rainwater. “I had water out of these pails, buckets and dollar store water … and I used it to take baths with.”
His plight came to light last month after a group of New Boston residents gathered at city hall. They were all concerned about high water bills.
New Boston officials said the city has a good system that flags leaks for its residents.
Days after the meeting, a New Boston councilman started a social media campaign to help Williams pay his water bill. But then, an anonymous donor stepped in and paid the entire amount owed. “I really appreciate it, it really helped me out, and it takes a load off my mind because … sure need some water this summer,” Williams said.
As for the hundreds of dollars already collected on social media, much of it was gifted to Williams. With that, he said he got his truck running again and paid some other bills. “I was a little behind on my electric bill and I got that caught up,” he said.
In a show of gratitude, Williams sent cards to those donors he knew. He said he’s thankful to finally have running water again.