Finish Karen’s Kitchen


I’m Wendy O’Donnell. I’m asking you to help me raise $5,000 so that Karen Galanda doesn’t have to spend another 4 months living without a kitchen in her home. So she can get the refrigerator and microwave out of her living room. So she won’t have to do the dishes in a plastic basin anymore. So she can empty the boxes of pots, pans and plates stacked up in her bedroom.

Who is Karen Galanda?

Karen is a Kiwi like me. She was in the same year as me at the same high school but we can’t remember each other from those days! (It was the largest high school in the country at the time.) Now we’re both Steelers fans who live in Pittsburgh’s North Hills. Karen has a big kind heart and a big fun laugh. She rides a Harley.  Works as an administrative assistant. And she’d do anything for her two sons, her granddaughter and two grandsons, and for her husband Tom. She’s also just a plain good-hearted friend who’d give you her last penny if you needed it.

Plan for a New Kitchen

Over summer 2017, Karen and Tom planned a new kitchen. With much excitement and encouragement, Karen watched as Tom demo’d the walls between the kitchen and dining and living rooms to create Karen’s dream kitchen. That was late summer and we’re now one week out from Christmas. Tom is a builder who is nearing retirement so kitchen progress wasn’t too fast. Karen was cool with that. She knows Tom is a perfectionist. He’s vaulted the ceiling to give the space more height, closed the back door and added a sliding door to the backyard, and put up all the drywall. Then…

An Accident

Tom took a tumble off a ladder and broke his left heel two weeks ago. It is a high-energy fracture that could take a long time to heal properly. At a minimum, the doctor says Tom can’t weight bear for another 6 weeks…maybe longer. That leaves the new kitchen going nowhere fast while Tom makes maximum use of the lazyboy.

A Half-Finished Kitchen

The new white cabinets are sitting in the garage. Karen’s dream granite countertops are waiting to be installed. The drywall needs spackling and the painting. Cold air returns need relocating. New hardwood needs to be laid to match up with the dining room floor. And all this needs to happen before cabinets, countertops and appliances can be installed.

The Costs

$5,000 is a good place to start, although my calculations below suggest we’ll probably need more.  Plus some grunt-work from friends to finish Karen’s kitchen.

    Drywall labor and materials: $1,500

    Vents labor and materials: $1,000

     Painting materials (friends labor): $300

     Flooring labor and materials: $3,000

     Cabinet & granite installation labor: $3,500

      Plumbing connection labor: $400

      Appliances & lighting installation labor: $400

The Wish

Before daffodils welcome spring 2018 in Pittsburgh, I wish for Karen’s dream kitchen to be completed. Thank you for reading this far and considering donating to the Finish Karen’s Kitchen GoFundMe appeal. We’ll post pictures of kitchen progress as your kindness and generosity allows me to hire a contractor to do what Tom is itching to do but knows he can’t for many months yet.

Wendy O'Donnell
  • Linda Capane 
    • $50 
    • 48 mos
  • Elizabeth Ilgen 
    • $100 
    • 48 mos
  • Wendy O'Donnell 
    • $500 
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  • Mike Ward 
    • $150 
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  • Anonymous 
    • $3,000 
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Wendy O'Donnell 
Pine Township, PA
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