A house is where people live, but a home is where people are loved. Sometimes family ties are unrelated to biology. So when a group of frat brothers learned that their “second mom” needed help to retire, she didn’t even need to ask.
Jessie Hamilton worked as a cook at the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house (affectionately known as Fiji) on the Louisiana State University campus from 1982 to 1986. Although the single mother had three children of her own, she treated the young men in her care. . as surrogate children, listening to their concerns, offering advice, and even taking them to doctor’s appointments or taking them to the grocery store on occasion.
“I enjoyed doing it. They loved my cooking, “said Hamilton. The Washington Post. “I was always there to talk to them. They would come into the kitchen, sit on the counter and tell me about their problems. “
Andrew Fusaiotti, now 52, was Fiji’s brother in the late 1980s. “She was really like a mother to us,” he told the Post. “He treated us as if we were his own children. She was always looking out for us. “
After leaving LSU, Hamilton found himself juggling various jobs to stay financially afloat. It was nothing new. She had been trapped in that cycle since she was 14 years old.
But yearning for a home of his own, in 2006, at age 60, Hamilton took out a 30-year mortgage on the house he hoped to one day retire to.
Over the years, Hamilton kept in touch with several of the fraternity’s brothers, including Fusaiotti, who now owns a car dealership in Mobile, Alabama.
At the start of the pandemic, Fusaiotti gave Hamilton a follow-up call to see how he was doing. During the conversation, he was dismayed to learn that she still had several jobs and that retirement was not an option in her foreseeable future.
Not doing something to rectify the situation was not an option for him.
Fusaiotti reached out to Hamilton’s family to find out how high he would have to set a monetary goal, then began gathering his frat brothers for financial donations to pay off his mortgage and give him a nice little mattress, too. With contributions averaging between $ 600 and $ 1,000 from around 900 former students, in all, Fusaiotti’s campaign raised $ 51,765.
Just days before their 74th birthday, the boys from Fiji officially declared April 3 “Jessie Hamilton Day”, celebrating the event with a party that included the presentation of two giant checks, one for $ 45,000 to pay the mortgage and another Check. from $ 6,675 just for Hamilton, topped off with commemorative t-shirts and koozies, plus lots of love and warm memories.
Now Hamilton can finally deliver his notice (s) once and for all.
As Fusaiotti and the other young men whose lives Hamilton touched can tell you, guardian angels sometimes show up in unlikely places, including the frat kitchen, where you’ll find them handing out generous helpings of fried chicken, kidney beans, and consolation that goes a long way. beyond comfort food.
“She’s the kind of person that inspires me, people who don’t have much but give a lot,” said Fusaiotti. Lawyer. “She is the most generous person you have ever met.”
(LOOK ‘Jessie Hamilton Day’ on Lawyer video below.)
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North Carolina-based writer Judy Cole has a new rom-com murder mystery debuting on Amazon: And Jilly came rolling after (from Red Sky Presents).