BREEZY POINT, NY – An elderly Breezy Point couple whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy received the surprise of their lives on Wednesday when staff and volunteers from the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International present them with a newly-rebuilt home.
Burt and Jeanne moved into their home a little over a year ago after they sold their primary residence to help an ailing family member. The home they moved into was the couple’s beach house for over 30 years. They invested their life savings to upgrade the home, but the contractor died in August and the work was never completed. Then Hurricane Sandy brought more than four feet of water into the house, destroying everything. They did not have any flood insurance. Jeanne is a two-time cancer survivor and Burt also has health challenges.
For the last three weeks, the Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International has coordinated hundreds volunteers from across the country (and Canada) to completely renovate the home while the couple has been away. They gutted the home floor to ceiling and rebuilt it from the studs, including all new electrical, plumbing, flooring, all new appliances, a new kitchen and bath and a half, decorations, painting and even landscaping.
In a surprise ceremony, staff from Operation Blessing International, volunteers and the couple’s children and grandchildren surprised the couple when they returned to their “new” home for the first time.