Around Town: Community comes together to help ‘Miss Amy’

DONNA FIALA

A heartwarming story emerged this past weekend, thanks to the new Lowe’s on U.S. 41 East and the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. A house was brought to their attention that was very dilapidated and unsafe. An 88-year-old lady lives there with her handicapped daughter, who had been hit by a car 7 years ago, leaving her with mild brain damage, spinal cord damage and without a leg. The daughter had 4 young children at the time.

They all moved in with her mom, “Miss Amy,” who had been a nurse in New York, moved to Naples in 1984 with her husband (who died 2 years later), and worked at the Salvation Army where she started the after school program and the senior ladies group. She then worked at Manor Care and retired at age 85.

On her 88th birthday, everyone arrived to makeover the house. Lowe’s donated all of the materials, Wal-Mart donated the food for the volunteers and a big birthday cake for Miss Amy, and volunteer employees from Lowe’s and the Sheriff’s Office arrived with tool belts and family members to start the process.

Neighbors Steve and Brenda Pacer (Steve is a teacher at Lely High School and Brenda is a teacher at Avalon Elementary School) came over to help “the sweetest lady on earth.”

Lowe’s employee Brandon Rae and his son Mason worked alongside everyone. Lt. Mulholland, from the East Naples Sheriff’s Office substation, brought his son and daughter to help; Suzi, an employee from Lowe’s, brought her husband and father-in-law, owners of Tom Amendola, general contractors, to help...and the work began.

The handicapped ramp was too far gone to repair so the Lowe’s people sent for more supplies and they started building a new, sturdy wheelchair ramp. The broken windows and screens were replaced, locks were installed on the doors (which also needed repair), screen doors were installed, the shed was torn down completely, the house pressure cleaned, flowering plants and mulch were planted, a garden was installed so Miss Amy could grow some of her own vegetables, and so much more.

Cpl. Sylee Gibson orchestrated the process while pounding away at whatever she was working on; the Lowe’s manager, Cecil Riner, came to help and survey the supplies needed; Tropic Disposal (owned by the spouse of a Sheriff’s Office employee) donated the Dumpster, and Dave Stoy worked to fix doors and locks.

I must add that Dixie Lee Craig from Countryside was there the entire time. She was the lady who made the Sheriff’s Office aware of the need to help this family. Dixie had worked with Miss Amy at the Salvation Army. In fact, when Dixie saw the condition of the carpet, she talked with Setterquist Carpet and they donated carpet to replace what was there. So much more needs to be done, but the place is now safe and secure.

To all of these wonderful, caring people who gave of themselves for someone they didn’t even know, I say God bless you. You are what community spirit is all about. And to Miss Amy, you are loved by all! I felt blessed to meet everyone.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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