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Neighbors Step Up, Buy Sandy Hook Family A New Furnace

Newtown residents and a Monroe company turned out to provide some holiday help for one family.

The heat — and hot water — is on.

When a Sandy Hook family needed a new furnace / boiler for the winter, their neighbors turned out in droves — and provided more than enough to install the device in their basement in time for the year's first snowfall.

The family's old furnace was damaged beyond repair, and they had been without heat or hot water for nearly a week when resident Christian Wenis learned about their need.

So he started a GoFundMe fundraiser to help.

"It is heartbreaking and dangerous at this time with temperatures falling well below freezing," he wrote. "This family does not have the financial means to purchase and install a new furnace/boiler at this time, and I would ask if anyone could please help them out with an act of kindness, it would go a long way, and they would be greatly appreciated with all our love."

The community responded quickly — and overwhelmingly.

In 11 days — from Nov. 30, when the fundraiser was posted, to Dec. 10, when they hit the $4,500 mark needed to buy the furnace — more than 100 people donated to the cause. Big contributions rolled in: one anonymous donor provided $370 on the fundraiser's last day.

And the furnace / boiler now sits in the family's basement: see the photos above.

The biggest contribution came from Monroe-based Sippin Energy Products, who covered the remainder of the $8,500 retail cost for the furnace.

"A big thank you and round of applause to Sippin Energy Products," said Wenis. "Especially Gary Sippin ... Without them, this would not have been possible."

Wenis also thanked Tim Makris and Tom Bittman of Sandy Hook Promise and fellow SHS parent Sabeena Ali, who ran a temporary henna tattoo fundraiser at NYA that netted more than $300 for the family.
Lauryn Hutchinson December 13, 2013 at 09:29 AM
Very kind of everyone!
Donna C December 13, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Bravo to everyone who participated in this, so proud to be part of such an amazing community. Great story!
Richard Hooker December 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM
So what happens to all the extra money?

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