PORT JEFFERSON STATION, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – There was an emotional surprise Thursday for a struggling Long Island family.
They were told volunteers would make their bathroom handicapped accessible, but instead, they found their entire house had been transformed – for free.READ MORE: Family Members: Woman Originally From Long Island Among The Missing In Florida Condo Collapse
Life is a challenging for the Mauro family. Twelve-year-old Olivia is deaf and her 49-year-old stepdad Keith was recently diagnosed with ALS. He can no longer walk or work.
“I was holding onto walls, and taking falls,” Keith Mauro said.
Their Port Jefferson Station house became impossible to navigate. His wheelchair was getting caught in old floor boards and the bathroom was inaccessible.
“The house went in disrepair, they could not afford a handicapped bathroom,” Vincent Centauro, the co-founder of Rescuing Families said.
“It was really a no-brainer decision to pick them as our next rescue.”
Volunteers with the Long Island group of licensed contractors welcomed the Mauros home Thursday.
They found far more than the renovated bathroom they were promised when they moved out two months ago.READ MORE: Woman Struck And Killed While Pushing Baby In Stroller In Queens
“We gave them new floors, repainted the house, gave them a deck, landscaping,” Centauro said.
Rescuing Families created a completely accessible bathroom and doorways throughout.
The big reveal brought out tears of joy and an army of volunteers to help the Mauros celebrate.
Businesses donated the supplies and the Mauros’ co-workers helped with the labor.
“It’s the right thing to do,” co-worker Sean Mann said.
“You don’t have to have a lot of money to help out, you just have to have the love and the will to want to help your neighbors. We believe in neighbors helping neighbors,” Gina Centauro of Rescuing Families added.
Rescuing Families has a selection process and a waiting list. This year they plan to renovate eight houses; renovations done at no cost to the disabled or financially struggling recipient.
“They’ve just made it so much easier for us and everyday struggles are a lot easier for us now,” Karen Mauro said.MORE NEWS: See It: Woman Steals Dog From Valley Stream Home
The renovation was worth an estimated $80,000.