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Lancaster County woman recognized for spreading hope in community | Jefferson Awards

Carol Heth started Lancaster Field of Hope in 2016 to help families going through unexpected medical expenses.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Those who know Carol Heth say she doesn't just help people financially, she truly cares for them. 

"I never sat down to really figure out how many people we've helped, and how much we've raised, so when I did that, I was in shock with what we've been able to accomplish," Heath said.

Carol and her husband, Pete, started the non-profit Lancaster Field of Hope in 2016 to help ease the financial burden of unexpected medical bills for families in her community.  They did so, from the comfort of their own farm in Lancaster county.  

"In the seven years that we've done it, we've helped 32 recipients and families and given all but $325,000 away to them," Heath told FOX43. 

It may not look like much on a dreary cold day in January, but once a year, their farm field is transformed into a gigantic fundraising dinner, with all proceeds going directly to six families the non-profit selects every year. 

If they meet their goal this year, each family will receive the maximum gifted amount of $17,000. 

The organization has grown quite a bit in a short amount of time. The first year they had 70 seated guests. In 2022, they had just under 200. 

"It will always be a gifted amount for them. I don't want them to have a tax burden on top of everything else and we do not specify what the money is used for. They are allowed to spend the money on whatever their need is," Heath explained.

For Molly and Art Miller, that need came unexpectedly, when Molly was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2021 and Art was forced to become her full-time caregiver.  

"It went from three jobs to one job, to no jobs," said Art. 

"With Artie stepping away from work to care for me full time it has been such a blessing because I don't know what we would have done," Molly said.  

Luckily, Lancaster Field of Hope stepped in to help with much more than financial assistance.  

"Carol would text me out of the blue and say, 'Hi Art, how are you doing?' That was so special to me,"  he said. 

Heth says it's just who she is.

"We can't be thankful enough to get up every morning and feel fine and everything is good with our family and everything. You just never know what's going to happen to you. I've been asked a lot of times why I do it and I always say, 'Why not?'" Carol said.  

Multiplying good and a lot of hope.

There are many ways you can help. If you know someone you would like to nominate, you can find out more information about Lancaster Field of Hope here.  

Download the FOX43 app here.

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