(Photo of Johnnie Hodges by Derek Gee, Buffalo News)
Johnnie Hodges, the World War II veteran who was evicted on a stretcher from his home of more than 50 years, will return.
Hodges needed about $15,000 to make the $50,000 fundraising goal to put him back into the home. It was foreclosed when he fell behind on payments after his wife, Flora, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and he dedicated himself to her care. That goal was reached Monday night, mere hours after the story had been published on Yahoo.
Fundraising toppled $100,000 by mid-week.
“I am so overwhelmed right now; I can’t even speak,” Robin Hodges, Johnnie’s daughter, said Monday. “All I can do is cry and thank God and all of the wonderful caring people.”
Robin Hodges said that surplus funding will go toward much-needed repairs, and the rest will be stored away for future property taxes “so that this never happens again.”
“To have it all happen on Flora’s birthday is also unreal,” said Greg Elwood, who was organizing the fundraising campaign. She would have turned 87 on Monday.
You can read the original story here.
Flora and Johnnie Hodges, Sr. (Photo provided by Robin Hodges)
From the Yahoo Real Estate team, we want to thank you too.
We first found out about the story from the Buffalo News, where reporter Lou Michel was tirelessly covering Hodges story. His work and the photos of Hodges’ eviction touched us and we knew Hodges’ story would have an impact on our readers.
What we didn’t know was just how much of an impact they would make on the the story.
Even though our readers knew the goal was met, they kept donating. Readers shared stories of their own families’ service and dedicated donations to veterans in their lives. Some people gave what little they could, while others were able to give thousands; each donation was noted and appreciated by Robin Hodges and Greg Elwood, who have been gathering e-mails and writing thank you notes since Monday night.
This is ours to you: Thank you all for helping to give this story its happy ending.
A homecoming party of sorts is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day. More details and update are at the Hodges’ GoFundMe page.