Johnnie Hodges, a 90-year-old WWII veteran, was evicted from his Buffalo, New York, home in July, after falling behind on the mortgage. Even though his situation was dire, he opted not to ask his children for financial support. In fact, he never even told them how behind he had gotten on his payments.
Hodges been caring for his wife of 65 years, Flora, who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease for six years, before passing away at home in 2014.
"My wife was a beautiful lady, a kind lady, a Christian lady, and she did everything she could to please everybody," Hodges told WGRZ. "I enjoyed my wife and I miss her a lot."
Just in time for Veterans Day, Hodges is back in the home he shared with Flora, thanks to an outpouring of support from his community and beyond. An online campaign raised more than $110,000, and Hodges was able to buy back his house by the Nov. 5 deadline, Yahoo reported.
Hodges and his supporters gathered at the home on Nov. 6, where they sang, prayed and cried together.
“The whole journey has been just wonderful, even though it appeared to be really bad at first,” the couple's daughter, Robin Hodges, told Yahoo. “I have to give praise to God. This was all God. He touched the hearts of people who exhibited such love and kindness and concern.”
The fundraiser was set up by Greg Elwood of Amherst, New York, after he heard about Hodges’ plight, WGRZ reports.
"[I] have a tremendous amount of respect for the greatest generation, and just felt really compelled to help out a veteran who had just been evicted from his home," Elwood told the news station.
“We had a donation from Norway, we had a donation from a 6-year-old girl with a lemonade stand who donated five dollars to the cause,” he added.
The city of Buffalo has designated Nov. 6 as John H. Hodges Sr. Day.
“Well, I don't know what to say, but I will say first thank God for doing everything that he did for us,” Hodges said.