Everyday Heroes

Plumber Charges Nothing for Elderly Woman's Boiler Repair, Story Goes Viral

When he saw how poorly elderly people were treated when they needed utility repairs, he knew he had to do something about it.


The dollars, or pounds in this case, have been rolling in for a plumber in the UK who started a not-for-profit company to help elderly and disabled people pay for various utility services.

James Anderson started the company, Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repair (Depher), in 2017 after seeing how poorly one of his colleagues treated an older customer on a job. Over the last two years, Anderson and his small crew have done a variety of repairs to boilers, plumbing fixtures and heating systems for over 2,500 seniors and low-income homeowners in Lancashire, England -- all free of charge.

The company recently got a social media boost when a woman shared a photo of an invoice that Anderson gave her 91-year-old mother, who is suffering from acute leukemia, after he completed repairs to her boiler. The invoice showed a total of $0.00 with a note that the senior was not to be charged for the services "under any circumstances."

Funding for Depher mostly comes from crowdfunding campaigns, although Anderson (who is a father of five) has racked up more than $8,000 ($9,800) in personal debt to keep the organization going.

"A lot of people close to me ask: why are you getting yourself in to debt? Why are you doing this? To me, debt is debt," Anderson told reporters. "I would rather owe some money to somebody and another person be alive and happy and safe."

James Anderson Facebook

After the story about the invoice went viral, Depher has seen a substantial increase in donations -- another heating company even gave Depher a boiler for free. Anderson shared the news about the boiler on social media and said that it will go to an elderly couple in need.

He included the quote in his post, "Love can move a heart. Humanity can move a mountain."

You can help Anderson and his crew gear up for the upcoming busy winter months by donating to Depher's Crowdfunder page .

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