Paul Wolfe didn’t know he had so many friends.
He sat in the St. Matthew’s Anglican Church Hall with a smile on his face, surrounded by his Florence neighbours, all whom had donated money to help him get back on his feet again.
In March, Wolfe had been working in the basement of his home for three hours. Then he went to help a neighbour at his woodlot. Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Al Broad found him there and told him his house on the edge of the village was on fire.
By the time the smoke had cleared, there was nothing left.
Shirley Sewell, the warden of St. Matthew’s, says neighbours started helping Wolfe out immediately. A coin jar was set up and clothing was bought with the proceeds. A few people in Florence cleaned out his mother’s home which had been vacant for a while, so he would have a place to stay.
As the community helped after the fire, Sewell says it became apparent he was having more trouble than they thought. Wolfe supports himself by cutting lawns and has 28 customers in Florence, Bothwell, Dresden and Dawn Mills.
His lawnmower was in the shop for repairs. His truck that he towed it with had bald tires, and the trailer would soon need to be replaced.
So the church decided to hold a lunch in his honour with the goal of helping him get back on his feet again. The tiny hall was filled with friends and neighbours, something Wolfe said he never expected.
“I’m amazed,” he says. “There are a lot of people come for me, to see me and have dinner with me,” he said smiling.
“I never realized; I have a lot of friends.
“One person said to me, ‘You help everybody, now you’re on the side of the road so now it’s my turn to help you.’
“And now I say, if they are in trouble, I’ll help them too.”
Sewell says she isn’t surprised how many people came out to help Wolfe because of his pleasant nature. “He’s so appreciative of everyone helping him…this is going to keep him going.”