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After receiving the bad news, Donald Sawyer’s* efforts became laser-focused. Doctors told him he had only five years to live—at best. Recognizing that his disease would no longer allow him to work, he sold his fixer-upper, rallied his resources and eventually managed to purchase a new manufactured home for his family.

Donald wanted to keep his family safe and secure, even after he was gone. His first priority was to provide them with a “nice, permanent place to live.” The home was small, but they could make it work. And work it certainly did. 


Twenty years later, Donald continues to defy both doctors and despair. His family has grown as well—there are now seven people living in the house! In addition to his wife Mary, Donald's manufactured home is also home to his daughter, disabled son-in-law, and three grandchildren. The twenty-year-old testament to a father's perseverance is now a bustling, well-kept three-generation household.

Nevertheless, the home has aged with its residents. While odd jobs, social security checks and food stamps have allowed them to manage their monthly mortgage payment and put food on the table, the family can't pull together resources to address big issues—like a leaky roof.


Donald is no slacker. Two months prior to this writing, he climbed onto the roof to patch a particularly aggravating leak. However, he knew the roof problem was much bigger than their resources. “We were starting to see stains on the ceiling and getting leaks in the laundry room," he admitted. "And my patchwork repairs weren’t going to last.”


Over the past twenty years, nothing has come easy for the Sawyer family. But they are overcomers. “We are quiet people, doing the best we can. We get things done, but it takes us a long time.” Friendly, hard-working, salt-of-the-earth folks, Donald and Mary are the kind of neighbors you’d like to have over for dinner. Residents of the Swannanoa Valley for over 30-years, they embody everything locals should feel good about as a community.


It’s not easy asking for help, but we are thankful the Sawyers had the courage and humility to contact us. With your gifts, we were able to repair their roof, replacing 11-sheets of damaged sheathing and installing new shingles on the entire roof.

completed roof.jpeg
roof 1.jpeg

Thanks to our financial donors

and John McClung Roofing!

* Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we are serving. 


You may give online via PayPal or credit card; or mail your check to:

Hammer & Heart

PO Box 577

Black Mountain, NC 28711 

All gifts are tax-deductible

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