“Lean on God.”

Dorothy is first a mother and a daughter, then a friend to all. She brings a weekly Meals on Wheels meal to a friend in need, and spends her days as a retiree playing Bingo at her home church. Even the land on which she built her home was bought from – you guessed it – a friend. 20 years ago, home simply meant a place to call her own, proximity to work, and being close to her baby brother and sister. Now, home is the go-to spot for Thanksgiving dinner, which Dorothy celebrates with her four children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grand. 

Dorothy can remember a time when the area looked very different. Born and raised in the Upstate, she has attended the same church for over 50 years. Dorothy attended Lincoln Elementary and High School for eleven years until attending Blue Ridge High School. She was one of the first Black students to attend. Carrying the burden of integrating Blue Ridge High School was not easy. 

“Some of them treated me good and some did not. They didn’t want me to walk down the aisle to graduate. They told me your shoes are too high. I had my Daddy take me to get some flat shoes. I got there in time to walk in my space. God gave me the strength to go through it.”

Faith is the cornerstone of Dorothy’s life. She listens to Pastor Charles Stanley every day, and connected with volunteers from Taylors First Baptist on her build day. They talked about all things church and what it means to be a Baptist. At the end of the day, Ms. Dorothy walked on a completed deck thanks to these volunteers and funding support from the Appalachian Council of Governments. Dorothy waited three years to receive repairs from Rebuild Upstate. She says it’s God’s blessing; this is the year she was meant to have everything done. 

Before repairs, Dorothy didn’t want to walk on her porch because she thought it might come down at any time. Now she enjoys sitting on her porch several times a day. Volunteers from the St. Anthony’s Handyman Club made repairs to her home and MP Services replaced her roof. Because these repairs came at no cost to Dorothy, she did not have to pay towards her insurance deductible, saving her hassle and money. 

“Thank God for them,” Dorothy says of the volunteer team and the contractors. “They did an awesome job. Without them I couldn’t have made it. Without Rebuild Upstate I would not have made it.” She expressed deep, joyful gratitude for the service of volunteers. 

Dorothy wouldn’t be Dorothy without leaving us with a piece of encouragement. “Lean on God and do the best you can do.”

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