Wantagh Sandy Victims Need Community's Help

Family of seven still hasn't returned to their home in the Mandalays section of Wantagh.

Editor's Note: This article was written by Rose Spisto.

The Santeramo family lost everything in Hurricane Sandy and  now needs to start over, which includes trying to rebuild their home.   

There are many obstacles they face each and every day. They were happy to hear a contractor would begin, but needed large amounts of money to even start.  Rich and Sara took the $10,000 they had saved and gave it to this contractor with the additional $20,000 they had gotten from their flood insurance.  

As we still continue to wait, this contractor has yet to prove any of the work 30 worthy and will not begin again if they do not supply him with additional monies.  

Many of the other contractors I have spoken to have already fixed homes on Long Island through good faith of their insurance companies. Rich and Sara are such good hearted people they don’t want to burn bridges with their current situation and have this man walk away with the very little work he has done. 

In the interim of battling the home struggles, their 3-year-old son has been in and out of the hospital and going to many many specialists to help find a solution to his lifelong disability. They will be traveling to New York City and Boston to meet with specialists and under a number of tests. Sara has been trying to focus on her son Xavier, while her husband tries to deal with the many frustrating calls to make to plead with people to provide the grants that are available to them.  

All of these people have told her husband that it is good he has applied for these grants but not you must wait. How long does this poor family need to wait to get them back into their home and begin creating a safe and healthy environment for their five children?  

Please also keep in mind that they are both the most wonderful hard working teachers that I have ever met.  They give a 110 percent to their children, 110 percent to their carriers, and 110 percent to trying to get the help to rebuild their home.

From the moment Rich and Sara brought their home it was already too small for them. Sara and Rich knew that this home was where they wanted to live and decided although too small with a growing family on the way they would fill it with love and teach the children that it’s not about the size but the amount of love the grows inside of it.  

I would love to see their house actually big enough for seven people to live it.  They have always tried to make it so comfortable for the children. They gave up part of their bedroom for their kids to play in. They sacrificed the living space for the kids to also have a playroom.  

You would never believe five children lived in this little home. Sara took so much pride in creating a home that welcomed all her friends and family. Her family lives in other states and when they would come for visits, just like myself Sara was the one always sacrificing her room to always make it comfortable for her loves ones.  

She would sooner sleep outside instead of having someone else be put out.  Everything Sara does in so selfless. Even after the storm she just first and for most wanted her kids home, but continued to go to church to pray for the ones who lost their children in this horrible storm.

This website has been designed to help them do just that, start over. From pictures to furniture, mementos to towels, it all needs replacing. While we all know someone, and thousands are hurting from this disaster, but this is one way to help a family directly. Please take a moment to donate what you can to this wonderful family, as they will need all the help that they can get situated.

If anyone would like to help out by donating their time (contractors, plumbers, electricians, attorneys, etc...) please contact Elizabeth Genovese at elizgenovese@gmail.com. For more information, and to learn how you can help, click here.


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