Complete Stranger Takes to Crowdfunding to Help Evicted WWII Vet

Johnnie Hodges Sr. (with scissors) stands on porch with Greg Elwood to his right, daughter Robin Hodges (center) and community friends.

*We’ve often heard the saying that to feel better about our own problems, we should help someone else through theirs.  I have, and continue to, experience the truth of this practice. And now I am sure that the stranger who jumped into action after he read about the WWII vet being evicted from the home he shared with his now-deceased wife for nearly 60 years, is feeling that sense of joy too.

Especially since his actions to start a crowdfunding campaign for the homeowner proved successful and the elderly man will now be able to spend the holidays in the home that he has come to know and love.

Johnnie Hodges Sr., a 90 year-old veteran from Buffalo, New York told ABC News, “I’m very happy to be back…and spend Christmas with my family in my home. There’s nothing like being with your family. This is a beautiful home I have and it really is a pleasure to be here.”

Hodges daughter, Robin Hodges, says she didn’t realize that her dad had stopped making his mortgage payments prior to the death of her mom; who passed away on July 11, 2014 from complications with Alzheimers.

After skipping two payments the elder faced eviction.

The vet had become consumed with taking care of his ailing wife and simply stopped making the payments. Apparently, he did not let anyone in his family know and faced eviction on July 9, 2015.

“He refused to leave. He told the police to put the handcuffs on him and they wouldn’t do it, so they called the paramedics,” said Robin Hodges.  Instead, her father was transported to a VA hospital in Buffalo for assessment and was released later that day.


But an article about the elder vets misfortune ran in a local newspaper soon after (yes, we can and do serve a great purpose sometimes) and it struck a chord with a man named Greg Elwood.

Elwood, a father of three, decided to set up a crowdfunding campaign for the veteran, with a goal to raise the $50,000 he owed in back mortgage.

The money was raised within a few hours.

Locals in the community immediately went into celebration mode and threw a  “Welcome Home” party for Hodges, who is so grateful to Greg Elwood and everyone who donated.

The Hodges family plans to spend time over the holidays with Greg and his family.

“It’s just a wonderful feeling to know that he’ll be back in that home to be able to celebrate the holidays with the family,” said Elwood.

I can just smell the sugar from the rising warm cinnamon rolls baking from way over here.  

Happy holidays, Mr. Hodges and Mr. Elwood!




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