FAIRFIELD, Wash. -- A facility that serves our most vulnerable is in a vulnerable position itself. The non-profit Fairfield Care is currently home to 47 residents, some of whom are in hospice. Staff says they desperately need a reliable generator ahead of winter. They thought they had everything ready to go after a late resident's will funded the purchase of a new one. But after things soured with the contractor they hired to hook it up, they said: "Help us, Hayley."
"This is just home," said 90-year-old Fairfield Care resident Ena Leitz. "I loved all the different colors you can see from the window. The scenery. It changes daily."
Ena says the move to Fairfield Care from her property nearly nine years ago didn't feel like one at all. That's because her view didn't change much.
"I love watching the combines, see them hauling the grain off," she said. "I just love it."
So did the cousin of Ena's husband, Irving Leitz. He spent his final days at the facility surrounded by care and love. But there was one thing he knew the aging building was desperately lacking.
"He was on oxygen," Ena said. "He felt if the electricity ever went off, they can't have oxygen. It was very important to him."
Getting a reliable and new generator that is what was so important. It meant so much to him, trying to secure it was one of the last things he ever did.
"Before he passed away, to thank us for his care, he willed us a field that when it sold we would get the money for the generator," said administrator Helda Fuchs.
And months back, with that money, they were able to buy a new generator.
"It could keep this whole building running at full capacity for 100 hours," Helda said. "When you're rural like us, it's a safety thing."
Fairfield Care does have generators in place, but they are outdated.
"I think they are as old as the building," she said.
That's why the purchase was such a relief. But here they are months later, with it still not hooked up. They found a contractor to take on the project who started the work, but the arrangement did not work out.
"We found discrepancies in the billing," she said.
They cut ties and halted work before the job was done. They found another professional ready to finish it, but the reality is both their funding and precious time before that first snowfall is running out.
"This place is open because people have hearts," she said. "There are no big investors, just local people who are putting their money into it."
And that's so people like Ena won't have to worry.
"(Getting the generator hooked up) would mean more security for us when the electricity goes off," she said. "I know we'd still have heat."
The facility has a fundraising page for anyone willing to donate.