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Anonymous Donation Will Keep Comfort House Open

Reported: Feb. 26, 2014 2:47 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 26, 2014 11:18 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Darrah Wilcox) -- Lorrie Hatfield lives in Mingo County, but has a sick relative staying at a Huntington hospital.

"Where I have back problems, driving is so hard," Hatfield said.

Staying at the Jeffrey George Comfort House on Staunton Avenue in Huntington has been a refuge this week. "Food, bed. That is a lot right now! Niceness. Comfort. It's just so comfortable here," Hatfield said.

The 12-bedroom house provides a place to stay for relatives of seven Huntington area hospitals.

Earlier this month, board members of the Comfort House learned the bank was calling in its 25-year loan after 14 years of timely payments. An outpouring of community support was capped off Tuesday night when an anonymous donor volunteered to assume the half a million dollar mortgage.

"He was in church, and the lesson for the day was putting feet to your faith, and he said I do believe God spoke to me, and said now you out feet to your faith," Executive director Jo Fannin said.

Fannin said they are overwhelmed with relief. "It's like a life sentence removed, that we can continue to welcome people, we can meet people at their point of need," she said.

She said they are proud to continue the legacy left behind by one of its founders, Dr. Jeffrey George, who died in 2008.

"It just means everything to this house to know that it's not over, that we can continue doing for this medical mecca in Huntington what Dr. George envisioned, and was so passionate about," Fannin said.

Now people like Hatfield will be able to continue to see comfort during difficult times.

"Thank you so much to whoever did it. It means the world to me. It does," she said.

One woman dropped off a thousand dollar donation this week, and she is asking others to match it. Fannin said they are kicking off a campaign to raise enough to pay off the mortgage in five years.

"We're asking anyone else that can to pledge 100 dollars a month for five years, because we're wanting to see this mortgage go away in five years."

Fannin said they are so thankful for the community's support. "We want to thank the people of Huntington. I'm a native. I was gone for almost 40 years, lived in 13 countries and ten states, and the basis of my upbringing is reinforced by the kindness, and the generosity, and the intrinsic goodness of the people of Huntington with whatever they have to give, they'll give it," she said.

If you'd like to donate, you can stop by the house at 2801 Staunton Avenue or call 304-522-1832.



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