86-year-old Marion woman no longer has to live without microwave

Front row from left, Coldwell Banker employees Mike McGuire and John McKay are holding the microwave. Middle row from left, Rhonda Vandervelde, wish recipient Harrietta Johnson and her daughter, Penny. Back row from left, Pete Nemish, Dawn Jacobs, Jan Masten and Nancy Foster. Coldwell Banker employees stand around Harrietta Johnson, pictured wearing a black coat, and her daughter, Penny, pictured wearing an orange shirt.

MARION — Up until about a week ago, 85-year-old Harrietta Johnson was perfectly content using a 15-year-old microwave to heat her tea and soups.

Johnson’s daughter, Penny, said the microwave was on its last legs: the inside ceiling part was black, with charred pieces routinely falling onto food as it was being cooked; and chunks of the floor and rotating disc had begun to peel off.

“I’ve been thinking about getting a new one, but never did,‘ said Johnson, who recalls the last moments of her microwave’s working life. “It was rattling inside and all of a sudden, nothing.‘

While some people simply wouldn’t be able to manage without a microwave to heat meals, Johnson said it likely would have been several months before she could save up enough money to buy a new one.

“It probably would have been a while,‘ Johnson said. Penny said her mother lives on a fixed income and not having the microwave would have been a real hardship.

“I am writing to you for a microwave for my mom,‘ reads Penny’s submission in the Cadillac News|Weekly Voice Believe ... Christmas Wishes Do Come True campaign. “...That would make it easier for her to cook. The one she has is falling apart on the inside. It is also starting to hurt her cooking.‘

Dawn Jacobs, with Coldwell Banker in Cadillac, said Johnson’s need for a microwave is something everyone can relate to, considering how indispensable these appliances have become in the 21st Century.

“This is something that is genuine and needed,‘ Jacobs said regarding Penny’s nomination for her mother to receive a new microwave.

Jacobs said Coldwell Banker employees contribute all year long to a fund that eventually is used around the holidays to fulfill some type of need in the community. She said they all take a vote to decide what programs to support.

This will be their second year participating in the Believe campaign and Jacobs said they absolutely love it.

“It gives us a chance to bring it forward, directly to the need,‘ Jacobs said. “We feel strongly about giving back to the community and this was a chance to find that need. The paper was there to connect the dots for us.‘

When Johnson learned she was the owner of a brand new Panasonic 1,100-watt stainless steel microwave oven courtesy of Coldwell Banker, she didn’t know what to say.

“It sure surprised me,‘ Johnson said. “I could hardly talk. It was just a big surprise.‘

Cadillac News