Community spirit grows in funds, work for area resident

In News, Pearland by Reporter NewsLeave a Comment

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By Karolyn Gephart

A service call by an ATT repairman not only started a chain reaction of specific acts of kindness, it also turned a life around for a local woman still suffering from Hurricane Harvey devastation.
Jon Riveira was horrified by what he saw at Rosalea Nall’s home on Sleepy Hollow in Pearland recently.

“He was heartbroken to see Ms. Nall’s living conditions. He immediately called me and told me about her and said he wanted to buy her a portable AC unit for her room so she could at least have one place that was cooler,” Jennifer Riveira said.

Riveira also got her some tarps and tarped off a room to help hold in the cool air. From that day forward, the Riveiras worked to find her some help.

When they posted her plight on Facebook, friends shared the story and to Nall’s surprise, her home started getting immediate attention.

Nall, 83, and her cat have been living in a gutted house without an air conditioner, without working plumbing and with hazardous electrical outlets. For a while after Harvey, she was living in a hotel with FEMA vouchers but in April government assistance stopped. With nowhere to go, she returned home.

For a while she traveled to Angleton for hot meals and showers but her car now has expired tags. She reached out for assistance, but was turned down from FEMA and the Red Cross. She was also told she did not qualify for a loan from the Small Business Administration, which was providing assistance for storm victims.

She continued her struggle, never giving up and expecting she would somehow get help in her situation. Sadly, she attempted to fix her sink and broke her nose doing it. Even then her determination to get through this never wavered.

Jennifer Riveira’s boss at UTMB is a member of the Friendswood United Methodist Church and he reached out to members there. They became a work crew bringing area members as well as other Methodist Church members from as far away as Minnesota to help.

A GoFundMe page has raised over $28k in less than two weeks and it continues to grow. The Riveira’s started a FB page to keep people informed of the progress and the costs of the work and supplies.

Jeff Barry, a Pearland resident and member of Lions Club got involved and helped spearhead getting trades into the home to work. Barry has an insurance business and has helped locate assistance in the area.

Jennifer Maldonado and the Pearland Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 4964 became involved and called out for help. Nall’s home started to get tremendous help.

Businesses helping include A Better Plumbing with Roland Cavazos, Able A/C and Heat, Barry Insurance Group and Lions Club, SGG Electrical, A1 Best Movers, Pearland Lumber, Flooring Source in Friendswood and Aircon to just name a few.

Penas Donuts and Diner held a fundraiser for Nall.

Riveira posted that Nall now has a hot water heater, toilets, sink and fixtures installed and her gas turned back on. Electrical should be completed soon. Someone donated a brand new exterior A/C unit and a different company is stepping in to install it next week.

Sheetrock is on standby and should start to be up next week as soon as the other trades are finished, accordjng to Riveira.

“The response from the community has been just unbelievable. She’s even going to be staying in a motel for the next week or so, also donated. Doors, vanities and mirrors have been donated. We can’t thank everyone enough for the swift avalanche of support so far. The end goal is getting her back to normal in her own home again,” Riveira said.

At this time, floor installers, kitchen cabinets and appliances are still needed.

“After sheetrock is up, we are planning a community day where everyone can come out and help paint, landscape and general clean up. Thanks so much, this is such great community,” Riveira said.

To see progress of the work, go to Facebook to Rosaleas Sleepy Hollow or search @rosaleasrebuilding.

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