Senoia pitches in to help local man in need


Senoia for all its growth is still a small city. One of its residents who has long-frequented David and Suzanne Pengelly’s Senoia Coffee & Cafe was found recently to be in need and a number of residents and businesses have responded to those needs.

Like others in communities across the land, Lonnie is a man who has always been self-sufficient, one who provides for himself. And like others, there are times when conditions in life change and a helping hand is needed.

A man often seen around the city and a frequent customer at Senoia Coffee & Cafe, the 67-year-old stopped in for lunch one day in early November. Suzanne recalled that Lonnie’s face was bloody due to a fall he had taken on the way to the coffee shop. She said EMTs were called and they arrived to tend to the minor injury.

David and Suzanne became concerned a couple of days later when their frequent lunch customer did not visit.

“David went to Lonnie’s house to check on him and found that he couldn’t get out of bed. He was unable to walk because of an old knee injury,” Suzanne said.

A check of the house revealed that there was no electricity and no running water, Suzanne said. There were also other issues with the house that needed to be addressed, Suzanne added.

Lonnie was subsequently transported to Piedmont Fayette Hospital and then admitted to a local physical rehabilitation facility where he is expected to remain until early 2014.

Suzanne explained that Lonnie is a very private man who rarely shares his life, one who always insists that he does not need help.

Yet Lonnie has been accepting of the outpouring of offers by citizens and area businesses to help with identified needs, Suzanne said.

“We look at him coming in after falling as the blessing that opened up for us to be able to help him,” Suzanne said. “People want to help and they ask about him all the time.”

Lonnie visited the cafe on Christmas Eve to have dinner and watch as local church bands played Christmas music. His eyes were bright and there was a smile on his face as he made his way to the table and was greeted by his friends. Asked if it would be alright if his story was told, Lonnie agreed.

With that agreement, perhaps Lonnie has given a Christmas gift of his own to people whose names he may never know. The reason is simple – any of us can fall prey to circumstances beyond our control. And when those times come it is comforting to know that, whether at Christmas or any time during the year, there are those in the community who will lend a hand to someone in need. As in the spirit of Christmas itself, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Updates pertaining to Lonnie can be found on the Senoia Coffee & Cafe Facebook page.

“Lonnie’s Fund” has been set up a Bank of the Ozarks for those interested in lending a hand to this special Senoia citizen.