May 11, 2021 by Cathy Stack
“She was truly like a mother to us. She treated us like we were her own kids. She was always looking out for us,” said Andrew Fusaiotti, a Fiji fraternity brother who attended LSU in the 1980s.
Andrew remained close with Jessie over the years. At the start of the pandemic, he called her to check in. She revealed that she was still working two jobs. When he inquired as to why she had not yet retired yet, she admitted that she had long been ready but simply could not afford to.
In 2005, Jesse became a proud homeowner. However, to afford the house, like so many, she decided to take out a 30-year mortgage. She knew this likely meant that she would be working for the rest of her life to pay it off.
When Andrew discovered that his dear friend was prevented from enjoying her long deserved retirement, he was determined to do something about it. He knew that Jessie had a special bond with many of the Fiji brothers, so he had an idea to start a fundraiser. He requested donations of any amount to put toward Jessie’s mortgage. Andrew said it was hard to ask his Fiji brothers for money during a challenging time as the pandemic, but he was motivated to do right by his friend.
Jessie was a hard-working single mother of three when she started working LSU in the 1980s. She was a talented cook, famous for her comfort food. She fondly recalled her time working at the college as it offered her an opportunity to mentor and support the young men during a crucial time in their lives. She offered the boys wide ranging advice from everything from relationships to exam stress. “They’d come in the kitchen and sit on top of the counter and tell me their problems.”
Johnny Joubert, another Fiji member remembers Jessie for her caring nature. “From day one, she had this aura about her that drew everybody to her.”
Together, Andrew and Joubert spent months fundraising and planning the big surprise. Their goal was to have everything ready in time for Jessie’s upcoming 74th birthday. The two men. along with a small group of vaccinated Fiji members traveled to Jessie’s Baton Rouge home for the event.
Jessie’s three children led her outside where the excited crowd sang, “Happy Birthday.” Jessie was overcome with emotion as tears streamed down her face. She was presented with a birthday card signed by all the 91 brothers who donated.
Jessie took a seat as Andrew shared a few touching words.
“We’re here to thank you, because we love you, respect you, and we know what you’ve been through to get this house and put food on your table,” shared Andrew.
The group then played a game of “Let’s Make a Deal,” as a fun way to reveal her gifts. Behind the first door was personalized “Jessie Hamilton Day” clothing and a catered lunch. The second door unveiled two enormous checks. One for $6,675 which she could spend however she pleased. The other was for $45,000 to pay off her mortgage.
“If I hadn’t been sitting, I would have fell down. I was hollering and crying,” Jessie recalled of the emotional moment. It proved to be an equally joyous experience for the fraternity brothers, now adult men, for being able to repay their ‘beloved second mother’ whom they credit as a great role model.
“Success is about setting a good example, doing things for others and bringing people closer together. Jessie does all of those things for her family, friends, community and co-workers.”
“You were already successful before we showed up today,” said Andrew, as he hugged Jessie.
Jessie has given notice to her jobs and plans to sit back now and enjoy life. Once it is safe to travel, she is going to take a family vacation. She said she also plans to visit her friends, the Fiji brothers more often. “They were my kids. They still are,” Jessie said.
PassItOn and The Foundation For A Better Life believes Andrew Fusaiotti and his fraternity brothers are heroes. Their caring action toward their dear friend is a great example of the value of friendship. Help us honor them by sharing their heartwarming story.
Watch video here: https://youtu.be/lsY1DtOuows
Please tell us about your everyday Hero. The Heroes among us are ordinary people whose actions leave a lasting and positive impact in their communities and demonstrate the potential in all of us. Their heroic acts uphold our shared values. Help honor these individuals by creating a billboard and sharing their story at: https://www.passiton.com/your-billboards/create
Sign Up to our PassItOn blog to be inspired: http://www.passiton.com/passiton-blog
photo credit: Facebook
Fraternity Brothers Paid Mortgage off for their Beloved Cook #friendship #passiton Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Jessie...Posted by Foundation for A Better Life on Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Friends Pitch in to Gift Special Glasses for Their Friend Who Is Colorblind Giving Him the Gift of Color
A Lesson We Should Never Forget. The incredible story of American POWs smuggling rations to Russian prisoners at Stalag-B.
Incredible story of Legendary Maria Tallchief's Long Journey from the Osage Nation in Oklahoma to becoming Prima Ballerina in NYC.
WWII Veteran's Dream Comes True When He Finally Meets Woman Who Wrote Him Cherished Thank-You Letter When She Was a Child
High School Team Built Powered Wheelchair for 2-year-old Boy. Born with a Genetic Condition that makes Mobility Difficult.
Inspired by his Daughter, Dad Builds World’s Most Fully Inclusive and Accessible Special Needs Theme Amusement Park
Allie Newman not only survived cancer but also helps hospitals better meet the needs of teenage cancer patients.
Beatrice Shilling, a motorcycle daredevil turned mechanical engineer, saved the lives of countless pilots in WWll
11-year-old 'Superhero Saves Choking Classmate and Helps Elderly Woman from House Fire on the Same Day.
Single Man Who Experienced Childhood Homelessness Adopts Abandoned Teen to Give Him a Safe, Secure Home
How Far Would you go for a Friend? A penguin named Dindim travels 5,000 miles every year to visit with its rescuer.
Salon Owner and her Volunteers Transforms and Uplifts Individuals Experiencing Homelessness with Free Mini-Makeovers
NASA Engineer Fulfils Lifelong Dream and Makes History as First Woman from Mexico to Travel to Space
90-Year-Old Great-Grandmother Knits Over 11,000 Newborn Hats To Donate to Her Local Hospital for Newborns.
14-Year-old Tinkered his Way to the Technology that Broadcast the Moon Landing, Bringing the Moon to Your Living Room.
An 8-year-old Girl Captured the Nation's Attention and Motivated Congress to Pass the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Click the like button above to access our facebook page, then ‘like us’ to get a dose of positivity in your feed.No thanks