A Good Samaritan Story in Country Life

Former boss’s aid ensures woman is able to remain in her own rural home.

Old Log House

An old log house.

Scott Prokop/Fotolia

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Living in a wooded rural area in the North Country is difficult for an 82-year-old woman. I own an old log house and really can’t afford to move. For most of his life, my oldest son lived with me. He could do the heavy work and always had friends who could help. But he passed away in 2010.

Since then, I have had to hire someone to help me. Along came Phil Barker, a former boss when I was part of the workforce. He cut down leaning trees, removed fallen limbs, changed outside light bulbs, and more. During winter, he cleans the snow off my roof and shovels paths. He is always there if I need advice. In the past, he has painted my house, roofed my garage, put a new ceiling in my back porch, and other home repairs.

He has never asked for more than minimum pay, reasonable reimbursement for materials, or an occasional breakfast. Without Phil, I couldn’t live here. From what I hear, I’m not the only one he helps. I know he goes to the nursing homes and supports his church. He has his own home and family to care for, too. I hope he one day gets his reward for being such a good friend and great neighbor.

GRIT salutes people who do the right thing!

Share your stories of Good Samaritans, helping hands, paying it forward, and other altruistic deeds — whether you were on the receiving end or you remember the great feeling of doing the right thing. Email a 300- to 500-word article to Editor in Chief Hank Will (hwill@grit.com), and we may publish it in a future issue of GRIT. Mail articles to The Right Thing, GRIT Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. The Good Samaritan involved in each printed article, if known, will receive a five-year subscription to GRIT.