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Habitat for Humanity Thanks Those Who Helped Rebuild Cedar Grove Road Home

Fire destroyed home where mother and son live

The following letter was submitted by Alyssa M. Turner, public relations coordinator for Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity:

Shortly before the chill set in the air, Maria and Steven Bertolini were able to return to their rehabbed home on Cedar Grove Road which was devastated by a house fire. A good portion of their home was destroyed. Maria, who was working two jobs while attending Georgian Court University, was diagnosed with a degenerative disease of the retina forcing her on to disability. As a single mother, Maria was also caring for Steven who was developmentally disabled.

Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity would like to thank all contractors, volunteers, Mayor Kelaher, and the Municipality of Toms River on behalf of the Bertolini Family for supporting our mission in the rebuild of their home.

Suzan Fichtner, Executive Director of Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity said, "It is amazing what can be accomplished when people in a community come together on behalf of the common good...such is the magical story of 201 Cedar Grove Road. On behalf of Maria, Steven and the staff and volunteers of Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity THANK YOU for taking the time to Make a Difference in the lives of our neighbors and for helping to bring them HOME!”

Thanks to the support that you have provided, Maria and Steven are no longer homeless and are now able to once again have a place they can call home. Thank you for your generous partnership in this life-affirming work. We look forward to partnering with you in the future!

Cathy February 17, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Congratulations Maria. This is awesome news. You've given so much of yourself, even through illness. This is what karma is about. After "paying it forward" for years, you can have the same kindness offered to you. :) This makes me happy. Remember what the proverbial "they" say, empty barrels make the most noise. Ignore those that DO make the most noise. Usually these people will never be happy so they wish to transfer this onto to others. So glad to see you're not letting this happen. (the rest are not either ..... kudos)
June Kreutzer February 17, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Habitat does not provide free houses. Our families have to work to build their own houses. They are then given a mortgage, more generous than they can get from a bank . They are given a "Hand up not a Hand out". The money they pay to Habitat gets used to pay for the next house for a family who meets the criteria of need, willingness to partner, and who meet financial criteria. A family then has a simple, safe, decent, affordable home for their children to grow. They pay mortgage, taxes and insurance and care for this home just like anyone other homeowner does. This gives them a role in the community, a feeling of responsibility, belonging and for the children - a lifetime of stability and safety.
Laura February 17, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Heidi, I titally understand. Thank you for the update. Laura
Leif Myhre February 19, 2013 at 08:50 PM
God bless those who have put their faith into action by helping Habitat for Humanity help another local family! Prayers for all families and individuals struggling following the devastation of super storm Sandy. May neighbors, family, friends, businesses and organizations continue to help one another to strengthen our communities. I have found that volunteering to help others improves my own self-worth and character. Volunteerism and giving to to achieve goals that improve the common good have long been part of the underpinning of our society. Habitat for Humanity, a Christian, nondiscriminatory organization is a great avenue through which we can help and develop deep relationships with one another. Congratulations to Maria, Stephen and Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity volunteers and staff for reaching another goal towards eliminating sub-standard housing! Leif Myhre Steamboat Springs, Colorado Pine Beach, NJ
Harry March 31, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Way to go Habitat God bless

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