Army veteran Gilbert Hoppe, 75, is currently battling cancer, and is also the main caretaker for his wife, Linda, who is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Hoppe was in need of a wheelchair-accessible van in order to get to doctor’s appointments, as well as monthly Veterans Affairs appointments. So he took to Facebook to try and sell his hearing aids in a desperate bid to obtain funds that would pay for the van.
On the Mankato Area For Sale Facebook page, he posted a photo of his hearing aids, along with a note that read, “Pair of hearing aids for sale or trade for a good vehicle.” Sadly, some people responded in an unkind way and mocked Hoppe for his post.
“The worst was probably the one that called him an idiot and said he couldn’t sell those hearing aids,” Kristi Bighley told KARE 11. “Obviously that person didn’t put himself in Gilbert’s shoes.”
Luckily, when others in his community learned that this Minnesota veteran was in need, they rallied around him.
Bighley, along with other locals, were inspired to help Hoppe pay for the desperately-needed van. The helpful neighbors set up a GoFundMe page and put together a fundraising event at the American Legion in Eagle Lake, Minnesota. About 100 people attended the successful event. Hoppe was grateful that so many people were willing to come together to help him in his time of need.
“It surprised me at first,” Hoppe told Star Tribune. “I felt glad that people wanted to help me.”
As of June 1, according to the GoFundMe page, $32,286 had been raised toward a $40,000 goal.
“I am so happy that we were able to do this simple act of kindness,” Christina Anderson, who also helped organize the fundraiser, told Star Tribune. “It just makes you feel good at the end of the day knowing that you helped someone else out.”