Florida family raising 15 children Gifted property with 13 bedrooms | Florida News

By AMANDA INSCORE, News-press

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A gift of a lifetime has left a Fort Myers family stunned and full of gratitude.

“I am speechless,” said Scott Hamilton after he and his wife, Cherrie, found out the house they rented for four years would now be theirs.

“I’m amazed at how the Lord has handled this whole situation, and I’m also happy for the children, because they will always have this,” he said.

They own a 13-bedroom house in Fort Myers thanks to the generosity of several anonymous donors. Dan O’Berski and his family coordinated the home renovation effort in 2017, and they returned on Dec. 30 to surprise the Hamiltons with the deed to the home. From start to finish, the project cost approximately $400,000 and nearly 65 people contributed financially or volunteered during the renovation.

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Scott and Cherrie Hamilton and their realtor found the house in 2016, and they thought it would be the perfect place to raise their kids and start their nonprofit foundation, Jonathan’s Place. They asked O’Berski, who was a friend, to be on the board of their foundation, but he wasn’t interested. He wanted to know if he could “run with this house”, so he coordinated volunteers and donors to renovate the house.

Now that the mortgage is paid off, the $1,000 a month they used to spend on rent can be used to care for their 15 children living at home, most of whom have special needs. The Hamiltons started homeschooling the kids when the pandemic started, and they hired a teacher to help them get by during the day.

Scott and Cherrie Hamilton have 21 homegrown, adopted and near-adopted children, ages 30 to 2.

“For us (the house) is just support for something that there’s no way in the world we could ever be close to doing. What we know how to do is bring people together around other amazing people and let them see the awesome work that God is doing,” said Dan O’Berski.

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