Zuly's Hurricane Relief Fund

My name is Sofia Weir, I live in Dallas, TX. I'm raising money for my cousin, Zulay (Zuly) Weir Vera. She lives outside of Gainesville, Florida and was affected by Hurricane Irma.

Not too long ago, my cousin Zuly and her husband Fred were able to put their savings and combined credit into buying a quaint house by a pond in rural Alachua county, outside of Gainesville. They have lived there for a little over a year with their two children and two dogs.

Hurricane Irma
Unfortunately, her family's home was hit hard by hurricane Irma. Below is Zuly’s account of the night that Irma hit:

“We lost power around 10pm on Sunday the 10th, my husband and I had everything charged and we were keeping up with the weather channel through our Hotspot.  Around 3AM after getting some relief by hearing that Irma was downgraded and that it was starting to look better, we decided that we needed to do a perimeter check around the property so that we could take a nap. Everything looked fine, no water near the house, there was some debris from all the trees we have around the house, but nothing too alarming. We decided to move sleeping quarters to the first floor, just in case a tree fell over onto the house.

So, we fall asleep. Around 5am Frederick hears a smash and the dog starts barking uncontrollably. 

Next thing we know we are standing in about 3ft of water. The debris had rammed against the sliding glass door, which shattered, allowing water to flow right inside the house.

The water smelled like sewer water and it was rising uncontrollably.

I took Hans, my younger son, to the second floor while Frederick evacuated the dogs. While upstairs I grabbed a couple of pieces of clothing for everybody and shoved it in backpacks; at this point Hans looked disoriented and confused. So, I kept him calm and made up a story as if we were having an adventure, about how the river came to our home and we need to pretend we were pirates and we must go across the water and fallen trees to get to Mamas and Papas house to find the treasure.

He was the happiest kid alive.”

Zuly and Frederick carried their child, their two dogs, and a few belongings out of their flooding home towards higher ground and eventually made their way to Zuly's parents’ home. Thankfully, everyone made it out safely.

The Aftermath 
In the days following the devastating hurricane, Zuly reached out to FEMA and her insurance providers. Even though FEMA is providing help to residents of Florida, and even some residents of Alachua county, they have deemed her ineligible for disaster assistance. Currently, Zuly is homeless. She is living temporarily with her mother, but needs to find a different place to live while repairs are made to her home.

FEMA has agreed to grant her immediate temporary shelter, however, the FEMA-provided shelters and hotels are all over 2hrs away from her workplace. With two children in school and two working adults, this is simply not feasible.

Luckily, she found a room at a nearby hotel (there are very few vacant beds in the region), but it will be costly for her.

She is hoping that her insurance will cover some of the damage to her home and some of the contents as well, however, the deductibles are high, and she doesn't have the extra income or savings to cover the total amount.

Help Needed
Luckily, Zuly has an amazing network of friends and family who are willing to help her with temporary housing, cleaning, and some home repairs. However, she still needs more help. The purpose of this fundraiser is to help Zuly and her family cover the costs of the hurricane nearly destroying her home; that includes the three deductibles she has to meet, dog boarding for 2  weeks, dumpster rental for trash removal, dehumidifier rentals in order to prevent mold growth, temporary housing in a hotel near her workplace, and an allowance for unforeseen costs with utility providers or damage not covered by insurance. Any leftover funds will be used to purchase new clothing for her two children, since most of their belongings were ruined. She needs access to additional funds pretty quickly; if she wants to start fixing her home then she needs to pay deductibles right away and start clearing out the debris, so the sooner the better.

All donations will go directly to Zuly; and every donation will make a positive impact on her and her family. Whether it's $1 or $100, it will take some of the financial burden off of her during this stressful and painful time.

Thank you so much for your donation.
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    • $30 
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    • $100 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Sofia Weir 
Gainesville, FL
Zulay Weir Vera 
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