by Lane Riggs, staff writer
Walking to and from locations for necessities like groceries is a daily part of 81-year-old Rosa Schulz’s life. But on Tuesday, with an outdoor temperature that neared 100 degrees, Uvalde resident Angelica Silva offered Schulz a ride home – and then everything changed.
Schulz, who relies on Social Security checks that come in once a month, doesn’t have family support. When Silva saw Schulz’s house, she realized that the woman didn’t have an inside shower or air conditioning, and she had holes in her walls and ceiling. Her dog didn’t have any food, either.
“She barely had a front door, she had no running water,” Silva said. “So I picked up a donated air conditioner, we put up tarps on the roof so she could have a small room for the AC to work. We got her some water and food.”
Schulz has lived in Uvalde for 27 years, and she bought her Roberts Lane home in 2001.
“It’s a miracle from God. I asked him for help and he’s helping me,” Schulz said. “I don’t even know the lady who is helping me.”
Silva and her Facebook friends, after her sister Mary Alice Ybarra posted about the encounter, have rallied around Schulz and are working to build a stable home for her.
“Sometimes miracles happen, I never imagined that she would help. They are good people,” Schulz said. “They promised to help and they are. I don’t know why they would help me.”
Though her home is in disrepair, Schulz said she had previously tried to fix the house herself.
“I tried to fix the holes up with caulk, but I didn’t do a good job,” she said, motioning at the holes in her ceiling. “Then I tried to cover over the holes with plastic.”
Silva said that when she encountered Schulz, she was struggling to walk home and could barely talk. After providing Schulz water and food, she offered to drive her home.
“She asked if I could take her to the park where she could rest, and I told her I would drive her home,” Silva said.
After Silva saw Schulz’s house and worked alongside 12 others to install the air conditioner and stock Schulz’s fridge, the group turned on the AC. Silva said that when they did, Schulz began to cry.
“I was heartbroken. She’s all alone and she’s 81. No one deserves to live like this,” Silva said. “If that was my grandmother, I couldn’t even imagine her living like that.”
Looking ahead, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Douglas Hatcher created a GoFundMe page for Schulz.
“The main thing is to help her. I’d like to get her somewhere better to live; the best thing would be to get her out of the house,” Silva said. “But that’s all she has, so we’re going to help her and fix it up for her.”
When Silva showed up with friends and family, she told Schulz not to worry.
“I told her some of my friends were coming over, but I told her, ‘They’re here to help. They’re good people,’” Silva said.
The GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/jfz48-team-rosa.
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