HELP ME TURN HURRICANE SANDY INTO A POSITIVE
In 1940, my grandparents bought
their first home in Island Park on Long Island. They raised my uncle and my mother there. It was passed through my family, and I
inherited it 10 years ago when my mother passed away. It is a small 3 bedroom bungalow, on a quaint walk, not too far from the water. I had been slowly
restoring the house, getting it ready as a rental. It was nearly complete
when Sandy hit.
Like EVERY other house in its town, the house sustained significant damage. There was roughly four feet of water inside the house. The force of the surge actually took a refrigerator and threw it through a wall. All of the contents were ruined, and the floors and walls had to be promptly ripped out to prevent mold. (That is the current state of the house in the photo above.)
I am so fortunate to have another residence in New York City which was not affected, but my Long Island neighbors are not as lucky. I want to give back to the community that my mother grew up in - and honor the home from which she left for her first communion, her prom and her wedding.
Unfortunately, FEMA does not favor those with multiple residences (I will get nothing), and the house did not have flood insurance.
So, here's what I plan to do. If I can raise the money for restoration from donations - I will not rent out the house right away, but rather donate it RENT-FREE to a family who has no home in which to live, for ONE YEAR while they get back on their feet. I'm in the process of contacting several local non-profits to help me identify recipients with the most need. (Watch this space for updates)
Would you help me put the house to good use - to help a family in need?
I am suggesting a donation of $100 "“ In NYC that's about the price of one dinner out:
If I can get 500 people to offer $100 each (or, please, more if you're able) we can house a family rent-free for a year.
I know my goal is ambitious, but I believe together, we can do this. But just in case, I'm also prepared to make it scalable. For $10-20k I will offer the house rent-free for up to 5 months; with $20-40k for up to 8 months; $40-50k up to 10 months and $50k (the estimated renovation costs) for one full year.
Think about this "“ when together, we complete our total goal, your $100 donation will help house a family in need for a year.
If donations exceed the renovation cost, the remainder will be donated directly back to Long Island Sandy relief funds.
Of course, any amount is welcome... Even the smallest donations will add up. The renovations should begin in January, and I hope to hand keys to a family in need of housing by March 1.
If you have any questions, message me directly. I would be happy to tell you more. I will update this page regularly with renovation updates, and ultimately, with information about the family that will live there.
Thank you in advance for your consideration, and generosity,
- Bonnie Walker
- Peter Shankman
- Amy Tyrrell
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