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Success Stories

God’s Blessing is Heating Up This Holiday Season

Home Repair
Brand new HVAC installed at the home of Ms. Donna Helton

Heating and cooling is a luxury far too many of us take for granted. Imagine sitting in your kitchen day-after-day wearing two sweatshirts, two pairs of pants, and a stocking cap, just to keep warm.

Well, this was a reality for Washburn resident, Ms. Donna Helton. Ms. Helton had been without a working HVAC since November when she was referred to the East TN Development District (ETDD) for assistance. ETDD is a non-profit that partners with USDA Rural Development – Tennessee to provide assistance to low-income homeowners in the East TN region.

Mr. Shane Carney, Housing & Grants Specialist, with ETDD received a referral for assistance from a local Habitat for Humanity on Ms. Helton asking for help with her HVAC. Mr. Carney shared that upon his initial phone conversation with Ms. Helton, “she asked me to go ahead and see if I could find someone else that needed the assistance more than her, because she has already been blessed so greatly in her lifetime.” Mr. Carney knew then he had to do something to help Ms. Helton with the freezing temps coming soon to their area. 

He reached out to the TN HPG Coordinator, Angela Hawkins, and asked for her to take a look at Ms. Helton’s application. The current repair man had done all he could to the old system to produce any real heating. In just a few days, Ms. Helton had a brand-new HVAC installed at her home. “My heart fell to the floor with gratitude that you would even consider me for the heat and air unit, “Ms. Helton said. “Mr. Carney, I hope that God blesses you double because he sure blessed me.”

Obligation Amount: N/A

Date of Obligation: September 26, 2022

Congressional District: Rep. Tim Burchett, TN-02; Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty

Partners: East TN Development District

Demographics: Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Morgan, and Scott County

Impact: Housing Preservation

                             Story updated December 2023 ∙ USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Obligation Amount:
Year(s) of Obligation:
Congressional District:
  • Tennessee: District 2