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Oklahomans answer older woman's call for help in cleaning up rural property

Posted at 3:47 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 20:25:22-04

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Okla. — It only took minutes for offers of assistance to pour in for a Washington County woman who 2 News Oklahoma talked to earlier this month.

Along a rural road in Washington County, you'll find an elderly, lonely and frail lady by the name of Neva Jo Miller whose eyes, whose face, now glow with gratitude, after much-needed help arrived.

MORE >>> Elderly Washington County woman holds out hope for help cleaning up after windstorm

"It's like a great big hug,” she says.

An emotional hug Neva so desperately needed after an overnight windstorm recently damaged some trees, leaving limbs dangling dangerously close to her small, humble, country home.

In the days that followed Neva told us, she felt alone.

"I was at my wit's end, who else might help me, might listen to me."

Neva is a long-time widow, almost 90 years old, going blind in both eyes, and on the mend from a fractured pelvis.

Without the money to hire help, she tried cleaning up the damage herself, knowing she couldn't do it all.

"All those limbs you see over there, I cut those myself yesterday and drug them over there."

But after we first told you Neva's story, her struggles would quickly be pushed aside, replaced by acts of kindness. Many folks from across Green Country reached out asking us how they could help.

"Neva Jo has always had a kind heart,” says San Zepeda

Zepeda is with the Lighthouse Outreach Center in Bartlesville which works to help the homeless.

When folks here saw our story about Neva they knew they had to act quickly.

"She has done so much for the Lighthouse in her lifetime, she's a wonderful person," Zepeda told us.

As it turns out, Neva had volunteered for years, just one of the many places she had given of her time, and care and concern, for nearly seven decades.

A life of volunteerism, born from her aching heart.

"After my husband died, it's how I healed, I just got busy," Neva says.

Neva says she learned it truly was better to give than to receive.

"It's important to say thank you to someone who helps you, like the Lighthouse."

Workers and residents from the Lighthouse not only cleaned up that storm damage, but they also did lawn and landscape work too -- even replacing a lock on Neva's shed.

They plan to paint the house and repair the roof.

"God keeps a record, and when you're down and out, and someone does so much for you. I feel loved by that group."

Feeling loved Neva says makes her smile and laugh.

"Laughter's good for the soul, your heart,"

Neva's story shows just one of the many ways seniors may need help.

In the Tulsa area, an agency called LIFE Senior Services can connect the elderly with the assistance they may need.

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