Dawna and William’s Story

Struggling to Pay for Food and Medicine

Dawna and William Purnell

Owasso Community Resources

William and Dawna Purnell of Owasso struggled to make ends meet for years.

William worked as a stevedore at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa when he suffered a heart attack. During hospitalization, it was discovered he also suffered from diabetes.

“I’ve had a lot of health setbacks that make it hard to work full time,” he said.

Dawna worked in fast food, earning minimum wage with no health insurance.

“It was a challenge to afford medicine and food,” she said.

To make ends meet, the couple received occasional food and utility assistance from Owasso Community Resources, a United Way partner agency.

“I don’t know what we would have done without them,” she said.

Recently, the organization helped Dawna polish her resume and apply for a better-paying position at the new Macy’s distribution center in Owasso. She recently was hired, with better pay and health insurance for them both.

“Now we can afford a few extras every month,” she says.