A Charlotte couple, who read the Jan. 31 story of a woman trying to save her home, sent $400 to help her. They sent the money to the Observer, for delivery to Jenna MacFarlane, a woman they don't know.
"We aren’t looking for any special recognition or even a thank you response," said the couple, who wishes to be anonymous. "We are only interested in trying to help another person who is in a difficult situation."
MacFarlane, a graphic designer, put 40 percent down when she bought a 1930s house near uptown in 2004. Her income dwindled with the economy, and she's been trying for months to get a loan modification to reduce her payments.
"That is so kind," she said today, upon learning of the gift. "Wow."
Her benefactors stand out among the many critical remarks, railing about the poor decisions and questionable judgment of families profiled by The Observer who are struggling amid a deep downturn to pay their mortgages and other bills.
The couple, who says they have made other direct payments to help people, are disenchanted with formal channels and "feel helpless in trying to have a true impact on change." But, "we can help to change or offset some less fortunate individual's hardship through charitable acts."
They are grateful for what they have, and giving makes them feel good.
MacFarlane can relate. In better times, she too gave, including establishing a scholarship that helps women complete their education at a northern California university.
"I’ve always been the one to help other people," she says. "I’ve known firsthand how good it feels."
She never thought she'd be the one struggling, to have to reshape her image of herself as the one who needs help.
"It’s a new way of thinking about your life," says MacFarlane, who is determined to rebuild her income and save her home. "Many people practice self denial, especially when they have been proud of themselves for supporting themselves all their lives. We’re all pretty close to the edge at this point."
Another Save Your Home reader echoed a similar thought.
"The real point of this is: walk a mile in someone's shoes before you become so arrogant about their life's problems," said alittlemoretolerant.
Readers, what upsets you about the nation's $75 billion foreclosure-prevention effort?