Call for Action helps a hurricane victim

We know and our viewers know what a lifesaver our all-volunteer team Call for Action can be. But their good will has stretched to helping a family in Puerto Rico.

Last year Hurricane Maria's powerful winds swept across the island wiping out communities. Well these were real families with real homes. When their houses were leveled most companies and utilities let people struggling to survive out of their contracts. But when one said 'no', Call For Action asked 'why'.

Ivette Ponder shows us a picture of her family's destroyed home.

"There you have the sofa. Here you have the garage."

Her 71-year-old mother and 91-year-old grandmother used to live here.

"You see everything flying all over the place. It was awful. Then after three days we start to get out from the school to see our house. When I get to my house it was nothing. Nothing at all," remembers Ms. Lopez.

They survived hunkered down in a school, but when the storm broke there was nothing left. They eventually landed here in metro Atlanta with Ms. Lopez's daughter Ivette. But something back home kept reaching out to them - a bill.

 "I have reviewed your account and find your contract will not expire until September 8th, 2019," Ms. Ponder said reading a note from the security company to us.

The security company, with two years left on the contract, wanted the family to keep paying for a service to a home that not only had no electricity but was no longer standing.

"Other companies like telephone, cable, internet, they let you get out," said Felicita Lopez.

Her daughter Ivette added, "I went ahead an emailed them. I certified letters to resolve the situation. I called two or three times to customer service. My husband called the manager. Nothing was resolved."

And now a $1,200 bill loomed over these elderly woman - rebuilding their lives - for a service they no longer had.

"They just didn't want to work anything out."

So, Ivette Ponder, a loyal Fox 5 News watcher, got on her computer and wrote to the Call for Action team for help. She's watched them over the years help folks with utility bills, rip-offs and business disputes.

"She called them a couple of times. We provided some proof to the company.  She called me back and said it's resolved," she said recalling how Call for Action director Susan Bowie managed the case herself.

"We're just thankful. I think I was just at a loss for words when she called," she said.

And now they can put one more chapter from the tragic book of Maria behind them and look forward to creating a new life.

Looking relieved to have this behind them, Felicita Lopez said, "You guys are the best, you know."