Designers, contractors, businesses, educational institutions, entertainers, organizations, and volunteers from across Long Island banded together to rebuild a mortgage-free turnkey Mastic home that will soon be donated to a veteran in need.
The veteran will not be just any American armed service member, but one who was honorably discharged, has local ties, is a Purple Heart recipient, and served after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Those are the rules of the nonprofit Fairway Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, which raised money over a four-year period to acquire the three-bedroom ranch.
“We are looking for a veteran with the greatest need for a home, not the greatest injury,” says Rosemarie Kluepfel of Fairway, a leading lender to veterans. “A veteran who may be struggling to pay his or her rent or someone who may have a special needs child or a veteran who is suffering from PTSD.”
The need is great. LI has one of the highest populations of veterans in New York State and has the third highest concentration of vets nationwide.
Those involved in the project include the Interior Design Society (IDS) Long Island chapter’s Pay It Forward charitable division, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), plus tradesman and retailers.
“When it came to do this project and to serve a purple heart veteran, our excitement and desire to be part of it was even greater because many of our members have served in the military,” says NARI Board Vice President Laurence Carolan.
Though the house was structurally sound, it was in need of renovations that included adding a new kitchen, new bathrooms and the addition of a shower in the second bathroom. An electrician donated his time and rewired the entire house including the installation of recessed lighting. The team refinished wood floors, installed new doors, tiled the bathrooms, and is currently in the process of painting the interior and restoring the exterior porch.
The project is set to be completed over the next month. The winner will be announced on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
“The home will be completely furnished with new furnishings, drapery, blinds, artwork,” says Dee Manicone, lead designer for the IDS charitable committee. “All that is necessary to allow the awarded family to move into a comfortable, casual, transitional-style home.”
To nominate a veteran or apply, visit veteranshomegiveaway.org.