A generous Oregon couple stepped in to pay for 45 hotel rooms for the homeless on Tuesday night as snow coated the ground. Amberly Batten and her husband Ryan had come across Facebook posts from volunteers with the local nonprofit Compassion Highway Project and knew they needed to help.
“I had seen some posts about some people who were homeless that were contemplating suicide because they were cold and didn’t have anywhere to go, and that hit something in my core. I had to do something,” Amberly told local NBC affiliate KOBI-TV.
Americas Best Value Inn in Medford, O.R., lowered its normal room rate to $45 for the cause and other families pitched in to help pay for even more rooms, according to ABC 11. The Joy Riders Club, a local volunteer club, donated dozens of pizzas to ensure the families staying at the hotel had something to eat.
“I was so afraid to lose them all,” Melissa Mayne, founder of the Compassion Highway Project, told Amberly Tuesday night while thanking her for helping house people who otherwise would have slept out in the cold, as KOBI-TV reports.
“We wanted to make sure as many people as possible could have somewhere warm to sleep tonight,” Batten said.
Mayne posted an update to Facebook saying that every room was filled, most with two to three people per room, and everyone had a full belly.
“Our community is amazing everyone that paid for a room I feel saved a life tonight !!! Without everyone coming together this wouldn’t be possible!” she wrote.
Osiris Lewis, an 8-year-old boy, was one of the people who got a room at America’s Best Value Tuesday night, and it just happened to be his birthday the next day.
“I’d like to not spend my birthday in a vehicle. I’d like to be in a room,” Osiris told KOBI-TV.
A GoFundMe was set up for Osiris to pay for more nights at the hotel, help his family get a more permanent home and buy the 8-year-old a few birthday presents.
The community praised the Battens for their kindness and the Compassion Highway Project for its important work, pointing to the gesture as a sign that there is good in the world.
“God bless the souls that donated, such a beautiful story,” one person wrote on Facebook.
“So amazing! Even in this world of chaos there’s still so much goodness. God bless you all for making lives matter,” another said.