Alison and John Kase are an inspiring wife and husband team that has been working around the clock to help their community of Broad Channel, NY. Broad Channel is a community that is largely comprised of Irish Catholic families, many of which include military veterans and municipal workers, with a large quotient employed as First Responders. Most families can claim to be fourth-generation Broad Channel residents. The town is geographically based outside of JFK International Airport, within the Jamaica Bay area of the Rockaways. There are nearly 950 single-resident homes in the area, almost all of which Superstorm Sandy heavily damaged or destroyed. There is only one school – high performing PS 47Q – and two churches. Retailers include two bagel stores, two delis and one haircutter. The local residents are known to be active members of the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) and the American Legion, and many parents are coach volunteers of the local children's sports club – the Broad Channel Athletic Club (BCAC).
After we had endured damage to our own home in Hurricane Sandy – and understanding how fortunate we are compared to so many others – I was inspired to do something to help an individual family that was not as fortunate. I was introduced to the Kase family by an incredible organization called Family-to-Family. I went to Broad Channel to meet them, see their home and tour their community, and I was blown away by how much damage is still there and how many people still do not have the resources or means to fix their homes. Alison works almost around the clock to advocate for storm victims, empower her own neighbors and give back to the community – yet her own home is still in shambles. Her husband works nights, and she is a mom to two sons. Logan is 8 and Jake, who has autism, is 11. It wasn't an option for them to move out of their home after the storm because all of Jake's services are local. While Alison actually taught herself how to install some of the sheetrock, they are still living with no interior doors, finished walls or floors, and they have very little furniture and storage. They were sitting on lawn chairs until a few weeks ago when someone donated an old used sofa.
While interior design used to just be a career path of mine, it has taken on a new meaning after my Hurricane Sandy experience. When your home where you spent wonderful moments with your family and friends – and was once warm and happy and filled with memorabilia – is then ripped down to its skeleton, it's heartbreaking, traumatic and scary. All you want is for it to feel like a home again and to forget how it appears cold and barren.
I am just one person, but with your support, we can help the Kase family get their home put back together and feeling like "home" again, so they can continue their selfless efforts to help others around them. Any amount of money will contribute to construction materials, furniture and decorative items. Also, if you know any retailers, c contractors or subcontractors that can donate a little of their time, any referrals would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance!
Please check out this quick video on Ali who was named Queens Person Of The Day by NY1