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Fuller Center helps West Point couple

 

WEST POINT — General and Sarah Winston live in one of the most recognizable homes in West Point.

It’s the one on 10th Street with the beautiful ginkgo trees in the front yard. Anyone who has driven into West Point from I-85 has seen those trees just after they’ve passed the Bethlehem Baptist Church and before they get to the red light on Highway 29.

Mrs. Winston said that Jim Nix planted those trees years ago, and they have enjoyed the display they put on almost every year and the many comments they hear about them.

While their front yard is an eye-catcher, the house they live in has not been in good shape. The roof leaks, cold air gets in through the windows, and they have some pipes that need to be replaced. The Winstons are both 83 years old, they’ve been married for 57 years and have health problems that are common with advanced age. Mrs. Winston has a severe case of arthritis in her knees and is confined to a wheelchair, and Mr. Winston had a stroke in recent years.

Conditions in their home had gotten so bad in recent weeks that they’d given up on having a Christmas tree this year.

Someone relayed their story to West Point Mayor Steve Tramell, and he got the word to West Point Vision and the Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project. These organizations worked together to see what they could do for the Winstons to have a merry Christmas this year.

CFCP Executive Director Kim Roberts and her assistant, Robin Pierre, made arrangements for Cecil Ramsey and his crew to repair the roof. They then got in touch with New Birth Ministry to get some guys who could put some new windows in the house. The pipes will be replaced as well.

As for the Christmas tree, Roberts and Pierre took care of that, getting one that now occupies the right front corner in the Winstons’ living room. There are also lots of wrapped presents under it.

“When I learned of this, the first thing I thought of was this was something Kim and Robin could do something about,” Tramell said. “I also knew that Princess Tucker and the members of West Point Vision could help them.”

Mrs. Winston said that she and her husband were depressed heading into the Christmas season.

“I didn’t think we’d have a tree,” she said. “But I am so glad that we do, and it’s such a pretty one. I want to thank Mayor Tramell, Miss Kim and Miss Robin, West Point Vision and the men from New Birth Ministry. We are overwhelmed with what they have done for us. We can’t thank them enough.”

Mr. Winston found the words hard to speak, but the tears streaming down his face were eloquent of his gratitude.

“It was so thoughtful for people to help us,” he said. “We are so grateful.”

“God ain’t through with us yet,” said Mrs. Winston. “There’s stuff he wants us to do, and we’ll do all we can to get it done.”

Prominent inside the living room is a large portrait of the Winstons when they were newlyweds. It dates to the 1960s. They’ve aged a lot since then, but they still have the same bright smiles.

“This is what Christmas is all about,” Roberts dsif. “It’s helping others, and that’s what the Fuller Center is all about.”