A young woman called the HELP Line. She said she was really worried about her neighbor, an elderly widow.
It was in the middle of winter--and it gets mighty cold in North Dakota in the wintertime! She said she always went to check
on her in the mornings, but she didn't answer the door. She said it smelled like she might have burned something in the oven.
She said she looked for smoke, but she couldn't see any.
We got the elderly woman's phone number and called her. She answered the phone. We asked her if she was okay,
and told her that her neighbor smelled like she might have burned something.
She began to cry. Her husband had recently died, and she didn't get her Social Security check, so she had
not been able to buy any fuel oil for the furnace. She was so cold that she had wrapped herself in several blankets, gone
into the bathroom and taken a bunch of magazines that she put into a metal garbage can and lit them on fire to try to warm
We got some fuel oil for her, then called the Social Security office to see why she hadn't gotten her check.
When the papers went in to notify them of her husband's death, they mixed the files up and they said she was deceased, not
It took awhile for the records to get straightened out and a new check to be issued to her, but at least
she had heat until it was resolved.