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Officer's Kindness Leads To Texas Woman's Home Getting Repairs

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
AP/Business Wire

(AP, TYLER, Texas, BUSINESS WIRE) - Three years ago, Marilyn Rollins had no idea that a police officer’s act of kindness would lead to major renovations to her home – including new windows – thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, Southside Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas).

The story starts in 2015 when Wes Lawrence, then a Tyler, Texas, police officer, drove past Ms. Rollins’ home patrolling his beat.

“I saw that a tree was partially on her house,” Mr. Lawrence said, who now sells insurance. “She was outside sweeping her carport, so I stopped and we talked. I knew I had to do something.”

A recent storm had toppled the tree. But living on a fixed income after retiring from nursing in 1998, Ms. Rollins could not afford to have it removed or her roof repaired. Mr. Lawrence posted the story on Facebook, which went viral. He collected enough online donations to purchase new roofing materials and a few days later, 20 men and women helped remove the fallen tree and replace Ms. Rollins’ roof.

“I was just so thankful,” Ms. Rollins, 62, said. “I don’t know what I would have done without everyone’s help.”

Mr. Lawrence noted other issues with Ms. Rollins’ home, specifically her windows, which were drafty and outdated. Mr. Lawrence, who learned about the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) offered by FHLB Dallas and member institutions such as Southside Bank from Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, encouraged Ms. Rollins to apply for the program. She received a $5,922.50 grant, which funded the installation of new windows in her home and new flooring in her kitchen.

Awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, SNAP grants provide funding for the repair and rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing of eligible, special-needs individuals.

Since SNAP’s inception in 2009, more than $13.1 million has been awarded in grants through FHLB Dallas member institutions to assist more than 2,600 families across FHLB Dallas’ five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. The $2 million in 2018 SNAP funding, made available in January on a first-come, first-served basis, has been exhausted.

Just as she is proud of the community that came together to help her in her time of need, Ms. Rollins is also proud of her home.

“The grant helped put some nice windows in my house,” she said. “Now I can sit by the window and just enjoy the warmth of the sunshine.”



View source version on businesswire.com:http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180302005622/en/