GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) – “Guthrie has a lot of people with big hearts, but OJ probably has one of the biggest,” Donna Hart said.
When you walk through the doors of the Hope House, it can be humbling whether you are a visitor or life’s unfortunate circumstances have led you here. Donna retired from the Department of Human Services, but her heart for serving did not. She stumbled upon the Hope House and its need for volunteers, and that is how she met OJ Myers, the administrator of the Hope House. She nominated OJ for Pay It 4Ward.
“I think he deserves it,” Donna said. “I’ve never seen someone with such compassion for other people, and he really cares about these people, and he wants them to do well.”
“Donna, on behalf of First Fidelity Bank, I’d like to present you with $400 from First Fidelity Bank as part of our Pay It Forward initiative just for OJ, an amazing person doing outstanding things for our community,” Bradley Jayroe said.
“He’s so compassionate with everybody,” Donna said. “I’ve never been treated this way as a volunteer.”
Step inside, and you will see for yourself. OJ knew something was up, because today is not usually one of Donna’s volunteer days. OJ also knows about Pay It 4Ward, except today, he is the one being honored.
“On behalf of First Fidelity Bank and KFOR, here is $400,” Donna said.
“That’s very thoughtful,” OJ said. “Thank you.”
The Hope House is a transitional homeless shelter. There is a two year rehab program, but it is also a place to lay your head if only temporarily.
Sometimes people’s reasons for doing the things they do are personal, sometimes they do not know why and sometimes it is both. OJ explains why he opened these doors.
“God made me do it. Seriously. I didn’t intend to do it. I didn’t see it coming,” he said. “God said you’re not doing anything else, and this needs to happen. People began to step up and help us after we signed the lease. A five-year lease, and I had about 50 bucks on me.”
And as for the rest of the money, it just happened.
“We just believed it was something God wanted to happen to get people off the streets and into rehab, and there was no facility in Guthrie,” he said. “It’s kind of blossomed. We have men, women, children, dogs, therapy dogs and babies.”
A home. And the people are family. Sometimes it lasts only a few days, a few weeks or maybe even months. But we could all use a hand up once in awhile.
“People are getting reunited with family, finding work, getting their teeth fixed. The community has been so gracious. Doctors, dentists, churches,” OJ said. “It’s been really amazing, eventful, hard and wonderful and all at the same time gut wrenching and joyous.”
Nominate someone for Pay it 4Ward!
Pay It 4Ward is a program through which KFOR-TV viewers can help someone they know who could use extra cash immediately.
Each week someone will receive $400 cash because one of their friends or co-workers wants to “Pay It 4Ward.”
When nominating, make sure to include your name, daytime phone number, who you nominate and why. Please follow all the criteria when nominating.
Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.