Everyday Angels

After sunrise service, he pitches in on Easter

Roger Smith, right, helped Bill Howard ( left) and his wife Ann clean up a littered stretch of road on Easter Sunday. That’s the tie he wore to sunrise service that morning.
Roger Smith, right, helped Bill Howard ( left) and his wife Ann clean up a littered stretch of road on Easter Sunday. That’s the tie he wore to sunrise service that morning. Ann Howard

Easter Sunday, my husband, Bill, and I were up early to get ready for church after having coffee and, of course, reading The Charlotte Observer, which we have done every morning since we were married in 1950.

I got out of bed but couldn’t walk because my gout had returned for the fifth time in two years. Bill asked if I could drive with one foot. I told him I thought I could. Then he said he thought we could use the day to pick up trash on our 2-mile stretch of road, which we have done for about 20 years.

To start our job, we took U.S. 221 North toward Marion. On the way, we stopped at a neighbor’s house to leave ham, pineapple and fruit cake since his mom had passed away and he and his dad were alone.

Our neighbor, Roger Smith, came out to get the food – still dressed in his white shirt and tie from being at the sunrise service. When we told him our plans for the day, he said he’d like to help.

So as I drove, our friend and my husband walked 2 miles of Oak Springs Road in Rutherfordton for more than two hours and picked up 12 bags of trash.

Roger would not take any money for helping us. And it got really hot before we were finished at 3 p.m.

I believe God will forgive my husband and me for not getting to church that day, and I want to thank Roger for his help and kindness. Ann B. Howard, Rutherfordton

Share your story

Did a stranger step in to offer you help out of the blue? Email rwilkerson@charlotteobserver.com. Include name, hometown and daytime number. Or mail Everyday Angels, Charlotte Observer, 600 S. Tryon, Charlotte, NC 28230. Roland Wilkerson

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