Queens Couple Surprised With Completely Rebuilt Home By Volunteer Group
An elderly Queens couple that was displaced by Hurricane Sandy got a big surprise from a volunteer group looking to bring some joy into the lives of many of the victims. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
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For 83-year-old Burt Metz and his 81-year-old wife Jeanne, it was a surprise of a lifetime.
Hundreds of volunteers from the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing have rebuilt their house after the couple and their daughter were left homeless by Hurricane Sandy.
"Unbelievable," Jeanne Metz said. "My heart is pounding."
The elderly couple believed the volunteers were helping them to gut their home and maybe put up some sheet rock, but the group spent three weeks doing a lot more than that.
From the furniture to the appliances, everything in the house is brand new. The couple said they prayed for a miracle and they got it.
"The good lord was with us," Burt Metz said. "That's for sure."
The house was the Metz's summer home for more than 30 years.
Last year, they decided to live their year round with their daughter and since then there has been a series of problems. They spent their life savings to upgrade the house but the contractor died before the job was done. Then Sandy struck.
"We had 6 feet of water in the basement," daughter Johanna-Claire Metz said. "Water, mold. It was growing. Everything floated from one end to the other."
Overwhelmed by the repairs, the Metz's daughter turned to operation blessing for help. The family needed a place to live.
After being displaced to three different locations, now they're home for good. The smiles on their faces was a welcoming site for the volunteers.
"We try to bring a little bit of light into dark places where there has been disasters and all sorts of problems," Operation Blessing President Bill Horan said. "We've done this all over the world."
The group says it doesn't have enough funds to do this type of home makeover for other Sandy victims, but hundreds of their volunteers are working hard to help many of them rebuild.
"We'd like to do this for everybody, but we just can't," Horan said. "So we manage volunteers, we do other kinds of relief work here and we've been doing this for a very long time and it never gets old."
Seeing the excitement on this couple's face doesn't get old either.