Wood is the proprietor of Heaven Sent, an indoor yard sale located on State 71 in Wewahitchka.

 

 

Janet Wood greeted a customer as soft Christian music played in the background. The shelves and displays around her were stacked with odds and ends.

Wood is the proprietor of Heaven Sent, an indoor yard sale located on State 71 in Wewahitchka.

While the store has been in place at its current location for more than two years, Wood has been selling goods for over 20 years.

Forced to move due to an ownership change, Wood isn’t sure where she will find a home for her store but she is sure of one thing, she will find a way.

“I don’t think the good Lord is through with us yet, we’ve got too much to do here,” Wood said.

Wood isn’t talking about selling used goods, she is talking about what she uses a large portion of her profits for, charitable purposes.

While not an exactly profitable business plan, Wood sees it as her purpose in life.

“There’s a purpose,” Wood said. “I’ve lived my life and I’m content. I’ve been blessed.”

But life hasn’t always been so easy.

At a young age, Wood was struck by a vehicle while getting off a church bus.

Doctors told Wood’s mother that she wasn’t going to live and to plan a funeral, but the young girl pulled through.

Wood would grow up and get married. She settled into a comfortable life and even began donating to charitable organizations. But that comfort wouldn’t last.

Wood’s husband was injured on the job. The couple had good insurance but then the recession hit and when the insurance money went away; Wood wasn’t sure what to do.

Luckily she had a friend lend her a hand and help her out.

Wood and her husband would recover from the hardship, but she would be marked by the experience forever.

Looking around she could she the community of Wewahitchka needed some help, so she decided to do something.

There were programs available for people that need assistance but there was something missing that Wood believed she could supply.

“Just letting them know that they are loved and cared for,” Wood said.

Wood collects items to sell, or receives donations, and turns around and helps those who ask for help.

Over the years, through Heaven Sent, Wood has helped people with anything from an electric bill to burying a loved one.

“If someone calls us and they need food then we see to it that they get food,” Wood said pointing out that a volunteer that works for her pulled food out of her own freezer for someone in need the week prior.

While she never hands out cash, she has helped some with vehicle repairs and even helped a young mother purchasing a home.

“We do what the community needs in any way possible that we can help them,” Wood said.

The biggest need that Wood has found in the community isn’t material, but rather someone to talk to and someone that will listen, especially in the case of the elderly.

“Most of the time they just want a hug and they just want you to listen to them,” Wood said.

In the middle of her shop, Wood has set up a kitchen table for those that want to stop by and just have a chat.

That closeness, especially with the elderly members of the community, has helped Wood fill a need that she says many do not know about.

“The hardest thing for an elderly person to do is to tell you their finances,” Wood said. “They will give you their last two dollars, but if they need two dollars, it’s hard for them to ask for it.”

Wood’s business hasn’t lined her pockets with cash.

“I am in the hole,” Wood said while laughing. “But that’s okay. That’s okay because I have a roof over my head and I have a husband that is behind me 100 percent.”

One of the biggest rewards Wood has received is people that she has helped returning to help others.

A volunteer, who wished to stay anonymous, told the story of how Wood went out of the way to help her.

The volunteer took in a young girl that needed a safe place to stay.

Not having a bed for the child, the volunteer went to Heaven Sent with $11 in her pocket. Wood happened to have a roll-away bed, and when the volunteer explained the situation Wood gave her the bed for $11.

“It was very touching,” the volunteer said as she teared up. “You don’t have people that do that nowadays.”

Now the volunteer returns every week and helps Wood out with whatever she needs.

“By me coming up here and volunteering, listening to her spiritual music, and her helping me has really blessed me in ways that no one else could,” said the volunteer. “Every day is a fight, but when you have people like her, it’s a little bit easier for you because you’re not just a name on a piece of paper in a pile.”

According to Wood, the pay-it-forward attitude that she has found in Wewahitchka has made her mission that much easier.

“I love this community,” Wood said. “This is like no other community that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime and I’ve lived in quite a few communities.”

Wood is confident that she will find a permanent home for Heaven Sent. She wants to pass down the store after she is gone to keep its mission alive.

Until then Wood will continue to do what she loves to do.

“Satisfaction to me is just knowing that I did what the good Lord would have done,” Wood said.