Plumber Takes On Debt To Offer Free Repairs For Struggling Seniors

This 52-year-old plumber quit his paid job so he could do free plumbing and home repair services for seniors and families in need—particularly during the cold winter months.

James Anderson was first inspired to leave his private work back in 2017 after he witnessed another home engineer treating an elderly customer “poorly”.

Shortly after that fateful encounter, Anderson started his nonprofit, Disabled and Elderly Plumbing and Heating Emergency Repair (Depher).

Over the course of the last two years, Anderson and his small team of workers have repaired boilers, plumbing fixtures, and heating systems for 2,500 seniors and low-income homeowners across Lancashire, England—and they have done it all free of charge.

The father-of-five finances the majority of his free services through online crowdfunding donations and paid jobs from customers who want to support his mission. That being said, he has racked up more than £8,000 ($9,800) in personal debt since he launched his labor of love—although he insists that the debt is “under control”.

“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.”

Thankfully, Anderson and his crew recently received an influx of donations as a result of someone publishing a photo of one of his invoices to social media.

The invoice was for a boiler repair that Anderson had done for a 91-year-old woman suffering from acute leukemia—and Anderson wrote that the senior was not to be charged for the repairs “under any circumstances”.

If you want to make a donation to Depher, Anderson is now gearing up for the upcoming winter months during which many vulnerable senior citizens might find themselves without heating. Furthermore, Anderson hopes to recruit more plumbers to Depher so he can expand his services across the UK.

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