After going viral for helping a 91-year-old, this humble plumber now exclusively serves the elderly and disabled

via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.


In March of 2017, Anderson closed his plumbing business and relaunched it as a non-profit known as Depher. Depher is a community project for vulnerable people that provides plumbing services at a discount, and sometimes for free, depending on funding.

RELATED: Iowa school is giving students PE credits for helping the elderly and disabled with their yard work

Depeher relies heavily on crowdfunding to deliver its services and recently it received £2,000 from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, the Queen's charity. When finding is low, Anderson offers a 25% discount.

Anderson explains the need for his services on Depher's GoFundMe page.

The safety of our elderly and disabled relies on funding and kindness, without it we may not be able to get to everyone that needs this lifeline.
From when this started in March 2017 we have helped over 1980 people and families, because of donations from the public and from ourselves at northern plumbing and heating ltd.
With this i know that we could make a difference to at least some of the 16.5 million registered elderly and disabled people in the UK and hopefully one day with your help them all.

Sometimes Anderson has to dig down into his own pockets to pay for jobs and he currently owes around £8,000.

"As long as I have enough money to fill up the tank in my car, I will be there to try and help the people who need it," he told CNN.

It all began when Anderson saw another plumbing company trying to manipulate an elderly person.

RELATED: Bus driver comforts scared boy on his first day of kindergarten in heartwarming photo

"It got me thinking about other elderly and vulnerable people — we need to do something more to help the people who need it most," Anderson said.

"A lot of elderly and disabled people don't like asking for assistance and if they can't afford something like fixing the boiler, they might not do it and get into trouble," he continued. "We are there to take that worry away."

via D.e.p.h.e.r Community CIC / Twitter

In the two-and-a half years since he relaunched Depher as a non-profit, he has helped over 2300 vulnerable people.

When we think of the needs of the elderly and disabled we often think about food or health care, but when people are in a vulnerable position, health-wise and/or financially, things begin to deteriorate around the house.

This can create a dangerous environment and also a living space that doesn't allow them to live with dignity.

Anderson is a great example of a person that uses his unique talents to benefit those that really need the help. It begs the question, how can all of us use our unique gifts to help those in need in our communities?

You can contribute to Depher at GoFundMe.

popular
via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Travelling during the holiday season can be a hectic experience. Airports are busy, people tend to be bogged down by extra extra luggage filled with gifts, and the weather is terrible so flight delays are common.

People can be stuck for hours in a terminal waiting for their flights, many of them alone as they travel to see family or make an end-of-the-year-business trip.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via TK2LDCNews / Twitter

For the first time since the annual holiday production began in 1954, the lead role of Marie in The New York City Ballet's production of "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker," is a black ballerina.

Eleven-year-old Charlotte Nebres, whose mother's family is from Trinidad and father's is from the Philippines, is a student at the School of American Ballet.

The leading role of the young heroine is known as Marie in the New York City Ballet's production, in others the young girl who dreams The Nutcracker to live is called Clara.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Despite controversial-but-compelling evidence that homework takes time away from families with little to no appreciable benefit for students, kids continue to slog through hours of school work outside the time they spend in the classroom. And despite evidence that small acts of kindness can infect a community like a positive virus, far too many kids are on either the giving or receiving end of unkind bullying on a regular basis.

Perhaps that's why an elementary school in Ireland has decided to do something radical—ditch all homework for the month of December and assign kids "acts of kindness" instead.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Brace yourselves, folks, because this is almost too friggin' adorable to handle.

A 911 call can be a scary thing, and an emergency call from a dad having chest pains and trouble breathing is no exception. But thankfully, an exchange between that dad's 5-year-old daughter and 911 dispatcher Jason Bonham turned out to be more humor than horror. If you missed hearing the recording that has repeatedly gone viral since 2010, you have to hear it now. It's perfectly timeless.

Keep Reading Show less
popular