As most of you probably already know, my parent's house was damaged pretty badly during hurricane Sandy. Many of you have already been by the house to pitch in and help out - and that help is truly appreciated. Most importantly, my entire family is safe - they were smart enough to leave prior to the storm surge and no bodily harm came to anyone. In terms of my parent's house, the water levels were the highest they have ever been since my parents have lived there (over 30 years) - by about 6 feet. Never before has the water reached the house, let alone 3 feet up the walls on the first floor. Hearing about the damage from my family, I wasn't prepare for the level of destruction I encountered when I first entered the home and saw it first hand - it was horrible and saddening.
My parents are doing well. They have completely gutted the first floor and they have removed all of the furniture. They salvaged a few electronics and heirlooms, but the majority of their belongings have been lost. They are currently staying at Clem's house in the basement and it may be several months until they can return home. Needless to say, they are heartbroken, and well, just broken.
They've always been there for me in my time of need, and for once I am in a position to help them. The insurance companies may or may not pick up most of the bill for the demolition/reconstruction of their house (home owners denied them, FEMA will only cover up to $30,000 and the flood insurance is yet to visit them - but even still they will only cover structural damage - no personal belongings). That leaves them with the huge burden of replacing a lifetime of personal belongings and this is where I can help, and if you feel inclined, so can you.
While I have not organized this to make anyone feel pressured into helping out, I wanted to offer a vehicle for those looking for a way to chip in. This is an organized way for people to contribute whatever they feel is appropriate. Malu and I will be matching the donations at 50% of the money raised (up to $2500 - so if we raise $5000 from the family - it would be a total of $7500). This money will be used to replace their personal belongings. We will purchase gift cards from places like Sears, furniture outlets, etc. I would like to try to get the donations completed prior to the family party on 12/16 and present them with the gift at the party. In no way have my parents asked for help - in fact they have done the opposite - this idea is completely mine and mine alone. Also, please do not mention this to them, I would like to keep it as a surprise for the holiday party. This will be a completely anonymous donation - when it is presented to them, it will be from "The Schuerlein Family".
You can make a contribution by using this website or by sending a check made out to:
260 Garth Road Apt 4D4
Scarsdale, NY 10583
We are a tight knit family. Anything you can do to help my parents would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for the support.