Good Samaritans help Richmond woman heat her home

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond woman in desperate need of heat at her home for her family got a big surprise from some good Samaritans.

The past few years have been rough for Tammy Shumaker. Her husband passed away two years ago, leaving behind a modest amount from his life insurance. Since then, she has taken in her sister, grandson, a granddaughter in college and another granddaughter with two kids and a husband with cancer. It forced her to take a part-time job as a painter.

“It’s not enough money coming in,” Shumaker said. “There’s not enough anything and I’ve been trying my hardest, but I still can’t get anywhere.”

“See this smile? I never smile anymore.”

To top it all off, her ancient heater stopped working, unable to be repaired, so Tammy’s boss reached out to a client and asked for help.

“This lady helps everybody. It’s very obvious she gives all the time, so it’s time somebody give back to her,” said Ronda Bradley-Gallagher, who reached out to her brother to help bring heat back to her home. “We always welcome this kind of stuff.”

“We got Lewis Supply to donate the boiler, so we’re going to donate all the parts and the labor and when we’re done, she’ll have heat,” Brad Bradley said, Ronda’s brother.

Inside, an unsuspecting Tammy is told about the new heater, a $100 gift card from Martin’s and $1,000 to Walmart to help with her Christmas shopping, leaving her speechless.

“See this smile? I never smile anymore,” Shumaker said.

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“It’s families helping families. We’re a family, Tammy’s part of our family,” Bradley-Gallagher said.

Tammy has another reason to be thankful ahead of Thanksgiving.

“Those of us who have been blessed in our businesses need to reach out and help our community. That’s what makes our community stronger is helping each other,” Bradley-Gallagher said.

Tammy’s new heater will be installed within the next two weeks.

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