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Kathy Griffin spent most of her week flipping through the phone book and calling as many churches as she could find.
Griffin, a Lancaster resident, is on a quest to contact all of Lancaster County’s 162 churches, hoping to raise money for a Van Wyck woman who recently lost her home.
Griffin recently learned about Rosemary Fann, a 61-year-old widow whose mobile home was repossessed in June. After her home was repossessed, Fann pitched a tent to live in on her property.
“I read about that and my heart just sank,” Griffin said. “I started thinking, ‘What can we do to help this lady who is living like this?’”
Griffin discussed ways to help get Fann a new home with her family.
Her brother, Scott Boyd, and her husband, Edgar Griffin, came up with the idea of asking churchgoers for donations to help Fann. Ever since, Griffin said the three have been determined to get the word out.
“We’re sending out a challenge to all the churches in Lancaster County. If every church took up a love offering this Sunday, and collected just $62.73, then we could raise $10,000 and could purchase a used mobile home for her,” Griffin said. “This is a really big burden for one church, but if all the churches got together it wouldn’t be a burden at all.”
Most of the churches Griffin has spoken with were looking for ways to help, and were glad she stepped forward to organize the effort.
Griffin plans to continue calling as many churches as she can.
“I’m just a grandma with time on her hands and noticed someone who’s in a bad situation,” Griffin said. “We want them all to take up the challenge, stand up and do something together. And in a week we could have her back in a home.”
Griffin has been asking churches to send any money they collect directly to Fann’s pastor, Jon Morgan of Christ Fellowship Community Church in Fort Mill.
Morgan’s family is spearheading efforts to get Fann a new house.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response. There are lots of good things going on,” Morgan said.
Morgan started with just his own congregation, cleaning up debris on Fann’s property, but said the efforts to help Fann have evolved into a community effort.
“It’s taking on a life of its own,” Morgan said. “As a pastor, taking care of widows and orphans is what is indicated in the Bible. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”
Morgan’s wife, Kristine, has taken on the role of contact person and has set up a Wachovia bank account for the money that’s collected.
The fund already has $1,900 in it.
There have also been offers to pay for Fann’s prescription costs and pet needs.
Kristine Morgan said the account will be used solely to replace what Fann has lost, including her home and furniture. She said any extra money that’s collected could be put toward a new car, which Fann needs for traveling to her dialysis treatments.
“We’ve gotten a great response. There’s been an outpouring of love from this community. It’s been amazing,” Kristine Morgan said.
She has also set up a cause page on Facebook called “A Roof for Rosemary.” It will soon have a link for people to use PayPal to donate money.
“I’m excited about the challenge for all the churches to get involved. All the walls are breaking down. It’s just about people of God coming together for one of our own,” Kristine Morgan said.
For those who want to donate money, make checks out to Rosemary Fann and send to the Morgan’s home at 122 Spratt St., Fort Mill, SC 29715.
People may also go directly to any Wachovia bank branch and ask to donate to the Rosemary Fann account.
For more details, call Pastor Jon Morgan at (803) 547-4117.
As for Fann, she’s in a state of disbelief about the amount of support she’s received from the community.
“I just can’t believe it, there’s no words. I just can’t believe it,” Fann said. “This is from people I don’t even know.”
She said she’s happy that so many people are interested in helping and hopes that the next time she returns to her property she’ll have a new home.
“I just want to get back out on my land and hopefully that can happen soon,” she said.
Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 416-8416