By Taylor Boyd
Following the annual Penny Drive in October, the Lord’s Acre Committee is preparing to buy the Penny House.
Larry Vernon, organization member, said the group raised $950, primarily in pennies, during the event. “People came from all over the county and brought pennies, different churches brought pennies they’ve been saving. We put them together and we’ve bagged them up and deposited them,” he said.
Vernon said that the Elwood and Marie Pack family, in particular, went beyond the call of what the group requested. “The day we had the penny drive at Rotary Field, they came over and presented a check for $30,000 for the Penny House. It just shocked all of us so,” he said.
Raymond Elwood Pack, a retired United Methodist Church minister, passed away in 2020, and Marie Pack passed in early 2021.
With all of the donations, the group has enough to purchase the house and do some repairs on the property. Vernon said one of the rooms needs to have a floor put in and the roof needs work.
Lord’s Acre also is in talks with the county to hook up the water and sewage systems. “We hope to keep the house for several years,” he said.
For 25 years, the owners of the house have leased it to the Lord’s Acre organization. Vernon said the group paid $1 annually to use the property.
The group used the Patrick Springs area property to house families who have primarily been burnt out of their homes.
Vernon said more than 100 families have stayed at the Penny House in their time of need. “We had a family one night in the middle of the night they lost everything. All they had on was their pajamas. They were a husband and wife and five kids,” he said.
He said once Lord’s Acre got the heat turned on for the family, they were overwhelmed with relief at having somewhere to stay after their tragic event. “They would have been out in the cold if they hadn’t of had somewhere to go. So, stuff like that’s rewarding. It’s worth it,” he said.
The group also helps home residents in finding jobs, buying medicine for seniors, and buying gas cards with the money raised from the annual sale
The annual fall fundraising event will continue this year to help the organization pay for amenities needed at the Penny House and the other assistance provided to those in need.
Vernon extended a heartfelt thank you to all who donated to the group. “I especially want to thank the employees here at BB&T for taking them for us,” he added, chuckling.