EL PASO, Texas - A local senior citizen is celebrating Thanksgiving early. Angie Alvarado found herself in a desperate situation, and just when she thought all hope was lost, a good Samaritan saved her.
"You okay?" Gloria Carrasco asked her sister. "She's happy. These are tears of joy. Yes. They are tears of joy."
Joy is an unexpected emotion for 75-year-old Angie Alvarado who didn't think she'd get through the last 10 days.
"I didn't have anybody to help me and I didn't have any money," Alvarado said.
Ms. Alvarado, a widow, living alone and surviving of a small Social Security stipend, found herself without a heater and without hot water. Bathing was no longer an option. She tried to keep warm by turning on her stove, but unknowingly was filling her home with poisonous carbon monoxide.
"Her situation could have very easily become serious could in fact may have become fatal," said Roy Ortega, community relations manager for Project Bravo.
But neither Ms. Alvarado or her younger sister Gloria Carrasco, had the money for new appliances. So Ms. Alvarado took a chance and called a man she saw on ABC 7 from Project Bravo.
"And Mr. Ortega answered the phone and he did something right away," Carrasco said.
He began searching for an agency that could help her. Ms. Alvarado says what happened next was a miracle sent from above.
"It just so happened that earlier that day I had received an email from the manager at the Lowes home improvement store in El Paso offering to assist someone in need in our community," Ortega said.
A few days later, Lowes Home Improvement offered to replace Ms. Alvarado's water heater and stove, free of charge.
"These are hard times right now," Carrasco said. "Its hard for all of us. To those who have parents, or elderly brothers or sisters, try to help them the best you can."
"You're good now. I think you're going to be alright," Ortega told Alvarado.
"Thank you sir, thank you," she replied.
Project Bravo is a federally funded organization that helps low-income individuals with a variety of services, including their gas and electric needs. Right now people who use propane may qualify for a free supply. For more information, visit www.projectbravo.org.