“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” - Coretta Scott King
Compassion is one of many words to describe the caring community of San Carlos Park.
Thursday business owners, neighbors, and friends came together to make the home of a fellow community member, Dave, a happier place for some of his last moments alive.
Sheri Kern, Dave's neighbor, said “When I first moved in, I thought that he was somebody who needed help.”
After Dave was taken to the hospital due to a terminal illness, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Sheri started a GoFundMe page and a post on Nextdoor so that Dave could come back to a clean home with AC and electricity.
By Thursday, many community members and business owners saw the post on Nextdoor and said that they could not wait to get over there and help a person in need.
Jenny from McCarthy Air Conditioning said,” We saw someone reach out and say ‘hey this guy is in need’, and if I was ever in need I would hope someone would reach out to me too, so I thought what a great neighborly thing to do.”
Jenny and her husband Brad McCarthy spent the day installing a new AC unit so that Dave could finally come back to a cool home, especially with Florida summer approaching.
Dave’s home had no AC, no electricity, holes in the roof/walls, and clutter everywhere.
Spaulding Decon donated a dumpster and their services to de-hoard the home.
“A lot of times it is a walk with the homeowner, we do try to get a sense of what’s important to them, what we can donate, we don’t just take everything to the dumpster, these are people’s life treasures and we do try to save and sanitize as much as we can,” said Carrisa Cuevas Magna from Spaulding Decon
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done, it’s not safe living conditions right now. We want to make it so that he has some detectors, if a fire starts he has no way of being notified,” said Stephanie from Coup Electric. The family-run electric company spent the day working on Dave’s electricity so that he can not only have a functioning home but a safe home.
Community members who came together Thursday were originally planning to give the home a full makeover for Dave’s return from the hospital, however, as the days went by Dave only got worse.
Sheri Kern said that Dave never did get to make it back to see his new home.
She wrote in a post that he peacefully passed away Saturday morning around 6 AM and that she held his hand and told him he was loved and how he brought the community together for good.
For anyone who would like to help a neighbor, Dave’s GoFundMe proceeds will now go to his funeral.