Ada ministry gives new home to 83-year-old widow

ADA, Okla. (KXII) Running water and a roof over your head may seem like a given.

However, in this Thanksgiving season, one woman is putting them at the top of her list, after getting a special gift from an Ada ministry serving widows.

Sisters Hand-In-Hand holds monthly banquets for more than 200 widows in Pontotoc County, giving them the opportunity to connect with each other and socialize, since widows are sometimes overlooked.

83-year-old Nancy Griffin has attended the monthly banquets since April 2016, after husband, Gene, died earlier in January.

One volunteer with the organization visited Griffin's house in Pottawatomie County earlier this year and told the organization's leaders about Griffin's poor living conditions.

After seeing the house, the leaders knew they had to act, beginning the organization's biggest project so far.

"We couldn't leave it," SHIH President Debbie Wall said. "Once you see something like that, you have knowledge of something like that, you just can't turn away."

Griffin was barely living on a social security check.

Her house had no running water, gaping holes in the floor with black mold covering the walls.

She would carry heavy buckets of water into her house for cooking and sponge baths.

"It made us feel worry for her," Sherry Gardner, SHIH communication director, said. "She is in her 80's and she lived out there in that situation. We love her and want the very best for her. And so we put our heads together to come up with some way to make her life more livable."

Wall found the solution in a travel trailer on Craigslist, which the organization bought and refurbished for $3500 using donations from the community. Travel trailers of similar sizes and features are around $20,000.

The trailer took two months to get back in good condition, outfitted with a new bed, TVs, electricity and running water.

The trailer was given to Griffin in August.

"We presented her with the title and she just praised God," Wall said. "She never complained. Now she has a comfortable place to sleep and take a shower and she was so excited about that."

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