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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jimmy Murphey: Real Life Hero Receives New Home! Fed Poor 40 Yrs

Jimmy Murphey Given New Home After Helping Others For 40 Years

A man who spent a lifetime feeding an estimated quarter million people, including the tired, cold and hungry who showed up at his front door over the holidays, is about to move into a new home.

"Ooh, let me tell you about that,” said 81-year-old Jimmy Murphey as his eyes lit up.

There's a story behind Murphey's new house on Woodsdale Place in Concord.

Don't get him wrong.

He's thankful for it.

But it was very, very hard to accept.

"I am a giver, but I am a poor receiver. I recognize that,” he said.

Murphey spent his entire life giving.

It was a lesson learned from his mother, despite the family's struggles.

"We needed food and social services denied us,” he explained. “My mom was only making 50 cents a week and they thought my mom was making too much money."

When it came to eating, Murphey’s mother made the rules.

"What we have, share,” he said.

He did.

Over 40 years, he fed an estimated quarter million people during Christmas.

He'd cook for days straight.

A few stories stand out.

"Six, seven kids came here, had nothing to eat at home, the children especially came here barefoot,” he said.

But it was hard when friends, neighbors, businesses and volunteers wanted to help him.

His old house where he fed the masses was falling apart.

"There's rotting of the windows, the foundation is cracking,” said helpers, looking at his old house last year.

"There's no heating and air, it doesn't work properly."

Those helpers decided Murphey needed a new house. They raised money, tore down the old one and built new one on the same lot.

"For me to go out and ask people to help me personally, I can't do that. I will never do it,” he said.

Advice from three close friends finally convinced him it was ok.

"I am very thankful for my house."

So many people are thankful for Jimmy Murphey.

Age and illness means Murphey doesn't cook for the masses anymore.

But he still says he needs your help.

This year, he's handing out bags of groceries and toys at Barber Scotia College on Dec. 24 and still needs donations.

You can donate to the Jimmy Murphey Christmas Fund at Wachovia bank branches on Church Street and Union Street in Concord, as well as Grace Lutheran Church on Tournament Street in Concord.

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Sources: Jimmy Murphey New Home Project, WCNC, Google Maps

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