‘There’s still good people:’ Gladewater neighbors help woman with overwhelming yard cleanup

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Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 1:55 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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GLADEWATER, Texas (KLTV) - After being cited and facing a possible fine, a Gladewater homeowner received a visit she did not expect.

Code enforcement officer Maria Tidwell of Gladewater inspects properties to make sure they aren’t violating ordinances.

Recently she found one disturbing.

“So much trash. You couldn’t walk in the back yard. Snakes, rodents, all that trash,” she says.

Tidwell initially cited homeowner Judy Lewis, who was given 30 days to clean up the mess.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do because it took us three months and I’m still working on the front. That’s where my husband had his heart attack. I just about lost faith in just about everything. Things have been going downhill,” Lewis says. “Regardless of what situation people are in, I still have a job to do.”

But Tidwell decided to learn Lewis’ back story.

“My husband had a stroke and had to quit work. I just felt like there was not hope,” Judy said.

“Her husband had three heart attacks and Lou Gehrig’s disease. If I can work with our citizens and help them, that’s what I want. I want to solve their problem,” said Maria.

And that’s when a local church happened to approach Tidwell.

“I’m like, ‘Maria how can we as a church partner with our city, to help meet people’s needs at their point of need?” said Teddy Sorrells of the Living Water Church in Gladewater.

“My boss got a roll-off dumpster donated and everything just fell into place,” Tidwell says.

In the space of two hours, Lewis yard was clean.

And for Judy, there’s now proof that good hearts are still out there.

“There’s still good people. There’s a lot of good people,” she said.

The group plans to do further work to help miss Lewis improve her property.

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