While cleaning up after a storm, New Jersey volunteer firefighter Eamonn Radburn was severely electrocuted when his hand grazed a live power line. He was transported to the Hackensack Medical Center, where he stayed for a full week before moving to a rehabilitation center. Ninety-one days later, Eamonn was released, confined to a wheelchair.
As the community caught wind of this story, its members began raising money to help Eamonn, his wife Christal, and their three young children. A few other organizations became involved soon thereafter, including NRF and NARI chapters. Jane Albanese, founder of Giants of Generosity, was doing her part to find a contractor to put into action the funds that had been raised, which was when she found support in the North Jersey NARI Chapter. She began working with Tim Wallace, who served as project manager for the effort to renovate the Radburn’s home.
Those around the community saw the need for Eamonn’s home to get some work done, especially as his mobility had changed. Funds were raised and donated to do a complete overhaul of the house. New cabinets, floors, appliances, countertops, siding, and roofing were put into place by volunteers from remodeling and community service groups.
More than a year later, Eamonn and his family are able to enjoy a completely retrofitted home thanks to the devotion, generosity and kindness of community groups and organizations, including the Remodeling Industry. Approximately $135,000 of donated material as well as a $10,000 gift from the United Water Foundation allowed for a complete restoration of the Radburn’s home. But perhaps more significant than the money raised was the selfless efforts of those who helped make this a reality for a deserving family.
“Words fail me when it comes to thanking Tim and all of the extraordinary people who took the time – their nights, weekends, cold days, hot days – to help this family,” Jane said. “No stone has been left unturned. It’s remarkable.”
Eamonn is out of his wheelchair, but still has difficulty walking as he experienced severe nerve damage. The additions to his home now make getting around easier. But moreover, they bring peace of mind to a family who has suffered. A ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, July 23, as Eamonn and Christal’s new home was complete.
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