February 18, 2017 8:00 AM
Back in December, I wrote about disabled war veteran Daniel Lister who was amid a battle with his Homeowners Association over yard appearance and covenants violations. The HOA had placed a lien on his home, one funded through a Purple Heart program, and fines were piling up – sparking an outrage by readers.
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Lister served four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was injured after he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in 2009. He nearly died. He has since had 30 surgeries, including amputations, over a seven year period. He battled overseas and faced a petty battle here at home upon return.
After publishing the story, calls and emails from around the state culminated into an organized effort to help SSG Lister sort out his troubles. Among those stepping up to help were state representative Scott Holcomb, an Atlanta Democrat, and Jeremy Berry, a well-known attorney for Dentons in Atlanta. A GoFundMe was established after a suggestion by readers and some even chose to send donations directly to SSG Lister.
The response was overwhelming.
Between the two fundraising efforts, nearly $2,500 was raised to aid in settling outstanding fees, find a lawn care service, and even get ahead on 2017 HOA dues. Rep. Holcomb and Jeremy Berry worked with the attorney representing the HOA and the two parties were able to come to an amicable agreement. Most importantly, the lien will be lifted and an area landscaping company came forward and will provide lawn care for at least the next year.
Additionally, an organization has contacted SSG Lister to assist in building an addition on to his home to provide for a bedroom and bathroom on the downstairs level. Currently, injuries and disabilities make getting up the stairs very difficult.
But that is not the end of it. A community Benefit Ride will be held on April 15th in Buford to raise money through raffles, food, fun, and fellowship that will go directly to Lister and his two children.
The power of community, and the Internet, is amazing.