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Strangers Rally To Keep Elderly Woman in Nursing Home

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people.com

people.com

Carrie Lou Rausch is 108 years young and has spent the last three years in an assisted living facility in Columbus, Ohio that has become a home to her. But because the the facility doesn’t accept medicare and the money she got from selling her childhood home to finance her stay there was running out, it looked like she would have to leave.

That is, until nearly 1,000 strangers stepped up to help support her so that the plucky 108-year old wouldn’t have to move. Rausch’s daughter, Susan Hatfield, set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the money to keep her mother in her current home, and the response was astounding.

“To put it delicately, I didn’t know she would live to be 108, and towards the end of last year, I knew she was getting low on funds,” Hatfield explains.

Hatfield says she looked into some of the nursing homes where Rausch could have lived, but described them as “a lot more like a hospital than a home. It was a lot more impersonal than the setting she had right now.”

Fortunately, something about Rausch’s story struck a chord with people. Over the last three months, more than 900 people have contributed to the GoFundMe page, totaling over $56,000, more than the initial goal of $40,000.

A local news station picking up the story of Rausch’s 108th birthday earlier this month caught people’s attention and led to a surge in donations to put the campaign over the top. There’s now enough money to keep Rausch in her current facility for more than a year.

“My whole family and I are so incredibly grateful for the support and generosity of all those who have allowed us to reach and exceed our goal,” Hatfield wrote to contributors after the campaign had passed its goal. “What an amazing testament to the existence of basic human kindness in a time when it sometimes seems in short supply.”

Hatfield says that any money donated that goes unused will be donated to the church Rausch has been a member of for most of her life.

To say thank you, Hatfield posted a video on Facebook of Rausch expressing her gratitude to all those who have helped her to continue spending her golden years in a place that has become home for her.