A daughter evicting her 91-year-old father, a retired veteran and railroad worker, sounds like the kind of story that makes you lose hope in human nature. However, crowdfunding has stepped in to save the day, according to a post this morning by John Potter’s granddaughter Jaclyn Fraley at GoFundMe.
She posted this comment shortly before 6 AM CDT:
“I just woke up to our goal being reached! Dreams really only do come true when you wake up! I can’t wait to call Grandpa later this morning and share the news.”
Although the story was slow to build, yesterday ABC News featured the tragic family tale of how a man in his 90s lost the home he built 56 years ago in Zaleski, Ohio. You can find a complete report at ABC, but the short version is that he gave his daughter, Janice Cottrill, power of attorney in 2004.
The intent was to make it easier for her to care for her 63-year-old brother, who has an autism spectrum disorder. However, a general power of attorney allows the individual to make a wide range of financial decisions — and Cottrill decided to deed Potter’s home to herself.
By the time Potter found out and switched the power of attorney to his granddaughter, 35-year-old Janice Fraley, it was too late.
He lost a long and complicated court battle to win back his home. Earlier this year, his daughter served him with an eviction notice.
That’s when Jaclyn Fraley turned to crowdsourcing. With the help of GoFundMe, she has raised over $125,000 from over 4,700 people in just one month — much of it in reaction to the ABC report and outpouring of support for Potter in social media. When ABC first posted the story, she had about $42,000 in pledges from almost 1,800 people.
Many of you probably saw the story both on Twitter and Facebook, so you will be happy to know that there should be a happy ending. There were many, many comments about the case, so I’m just pulling out a couple to give you a feel for the public reaction.
— Cody Coates (@CodyCoates) May 15, 2013
A 91 year old WWII veteran is being evicted from the house he built by his own daughter… honestly what has this world come too.
— Koji Egashira (@CajunAsian27) May 15, 2013
— Pnthrgrlgail (@Mama4Obama1) May 15, 2013
Her attorney has said that the courts will decide, and so far the daughter evicting her dad has had no comment.
[91-year-old John Potter photo by Jaclyn Fraley via Go Fund Me]