Austin American-Statesman – Jan. 27, 2017
Richard Overton, who at 110 is the nation’s oldest World War II veteran, will be able to live in the comfort of his own home with proper care because of a GoFundMe campaign that exploded online and exceeded donation goals.
In the last month, more than $117,000 has been raised for Overton. The campaign was started to raise money for around-the-clock home care for the veteran, who has lived in east Austin for about the last 70 years.
“It’s a relief that he will have care in his home and not have to leave,” said Volma Overton Jr., Richard’s cousin. “It’s a true blessing for Richard and for everyone who loves him.”
Volma said the idea for the GoFundMe campaign came from his daughter, Sarah, 26.
“We were scrambling trying to figure out what we could do and we didn’t have any ideas until Sarah mentioned the GoFundMe website,” Volma Overton said.
The initial goal for the family was to raise enough money for Richard to have 24/7 care for one year. Before the GoFundMe, Richard’s family would stop by his house every now and then, but he did not have the complete care he needed.
More than 2,400 people have donated money to the campaign since it began Dec. 27.
Volma Overton said the family is overwhelmed with the love and concern that people from all over the nation as they give to the campaign. He said the family is more than grateful. Without the GoFundMe campaign, he said, they would have been at a loss for what to do.
Even at 110, Richard Overton is able to talk about his life and remember things from several decades ago, Volma Overton said.
“Richard still smokes cigars every day and has a few shots of whiskey,” he said. “We have no idea how long he will be around, but Richard says everything is left to God.”