Previous total $35,995
Today's total $5,103
In honor of Jess $365
In memory of Robert D. May from Thomas May $150
In memory of our mother, C.C. Creswell, from Robert Creswell $200
In honor of Patsy Turner from Glenna Ramer $100
In memory of Bob and Margaret Knight from Nancy Valadie $50
In honor of Sandra Rice from Matthew Rice $50
In memory of George and Clare McReynolds and Dan and Emma Sawyer from Joseph Sawyer $250
In memory of Brigitte Archer from her grandson Jack $100
In honor of Brother Ron Fender from Michael Lowry $50
Newsroom staff of The Chattanooga Times Free Press $303
Carey, Jesse, Jacob, Allason, Georgi, Garrison, Ally, Madeline, Jonah and Goldie $58
In memory of James "Bud" Davidson $100
In memory of Andrew Eakin Moore $100
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Miller $100
In honor of my children, Harold Jr, D'Wayne and D'Wauna, from Mrs. Evalyn Young $75
In memory of Gene Ruth $50
Mary and David Laband $100
Mrs. Thyra Grime $25
In memory of Albert Hodge $75
In memory of Jarand L. Lane and Bryant Lane $50
Mimi and Jeff Grine $75
In memory of Newtown, Conn., victims $50
In memory of Mr. Wilthia Cowan from "Kitty" $100
In memory of loved ones $35
In memory of Janie May Stokely Weinberg from Morris Weinberg $100
In memory of M.I. Lockman $75
In memory of Marca Jo from Joe McBrien $25
In honor of Allison Maree $100
In memory of Paul Campbell Jr. from Nelson Campbell $200
In memory of Valerie Matthews $40
In honor of Erlanger North E.D. staff $250
Don and Mary Ann Campbell $1,000
Monyette Ervin had tears streaming down her face before she even knew what was happening.
Tina Williams, her case manager at the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, slipped a piece of paper toward her.
"After your story ran the phone lit up," Williams said.
"Oh my God, what am I looking at?" Ervin asked Williams.
The paper was a receipt of Ervin's bank account that had two months worth of money for her mortgage in it -- paid thanks to an anonymous donor who stepped forward after reading her story in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
After back surgery in April left her unable to work and she failed to qualify for disability benefits, Ervin was left with a mortgage she was unable to pay.
She and Williams were working to keep Ervin out of foreclosure proceedings for as long as they could.
"Every month since this has happened, she's had to ask for assistance," Williams said. "It just seems like you fall through the cracks. It just seems like you're always having doors slammed in your face."
The mortgage on her little yellow house, on the same land she has lived her whole life, was paid for the month of December by the Times Free Press Neediest Cases fund, keeping her out of foreclosure proceedings through February.
But now she doesn't have to worry about foreclosure.
"At times I didn't know what I was going to do," she said, "but God is a deliverer."
Earlier this week, Ervin found an envelope full of cash in her mailbox. On Thursday, an anonymous donor called Partnership, offering to pay for two months of Ervin's mortgage. A third donor offered to pay another month's mortgage, if needed.
For Partnership, the outpouring of money and support for Ervin is the perfect way to end the year.
"Every year there's one story that seems to touch or tug on people's heartstrings," said Sandra Hollett, chief executive officer at Partnership. "Usually, it's something where the courage shines through."
It's a little unusual to have an outpouring like this, though.
And Ervin is not the only recipient of the Neediest Cases fund to receive a large donation. Another client also received money to help with future needs, though she has not yet been told about the money.
"It's a wonderful affirmation for the client, but for the staff it's a wonderful affirmation of our work," Hollett said. "We had three donors in one day that were inspired by two different stories."
The check for the mortgage payments came with a note from the donor.
"My prayer is that this will ease a burden and her health be restored and be able to work once again," the note reads. "Thank y'all for the wonderful work you do. Thanks for letting me be a small part of it."
Another donor, who asked to remain anonymous, was inspired by Ervin's story after thinking of her own home where she and her husband raised their family.
"When I read that, I couldn't imagine having to move out of your home," she said. "This house, we've been here for 50 years. I can't imagine leaving."
Giving the money isn't about the recognition, the donor said, but out of a sense that she should do for others what she can.
"I'm not rich," the donor said. "I just feel when there's a need, you fill it."
Ervin never expected to be in a position where she might lose her home. But she gathered courage and strength from prayer and the wisdom of her father, she said.
"It's going to be hard sometimes," he would tell her. "But God will make a way."
Ervin will continue to work with Partnership and Williams until she is financially sound. She will be forever grateful to the people who helped keep her in her home.
"I thank them. I thank them from the bottom of my heart," she said. "And if I never lay eyes on them, all I can say is thank you, and thank the Lord for them."
Rachel Bunn is originally from Ellijay, Ga., and graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in magazines and history. While at UGA, she wrote for the student magazine UGAzine, served as news editor for the student newspaper, The Red & Black, and spent a semester studying British history at Oxford University in Oxford, England. She has previously worked at The Rockdale Citizen in Conyers, Ga., and The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the ...