Home rebuilding

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Dominican Starfish Foundation has participated in the building of 23 homes April 1st, 2013 to April 1, 2015. Two are still under construction. One repair and renovation we don't have pictures for. We have 10 more homes in the fundraising process.


  • 1.Shelter One of our primary projects in the Dominican Republic is building homes for the needy. These projects have been done April 1st 2013- April 1, 2015

2. Mela is a very poor lady raising 3 grandchildren. We met Mela on January 23rd, 2013, the day that we held the grand opening of the new school that we built in Maggiolo. She handed me a letter that she had someone write for her, asking for help with her home which was in terrible condition and falling in around her. The money for this home was raised by Jack and Louise ZoBell and their children and grandchildren. We were thrilled to be able to build this first home in the Dominican Republic in April 2013. Sometimes Mela has gone days without food. Our foundation takes her food often. We have provided shoes and clothing for her and her grandchildren. Mela Surprise birthday party fundraiser for Louise ZoBell by her family to help in the building of Melas home 3. Jaunito We met Jaunito and his wife Victoria when we were delivering food packs after a flood in November of 2012. They live with and support extended family. Jaunitos job is to be a motor cycle taxi driver. He has to pay rent on his motorbike daily. They had a dirt floor in their home and it flooded regularly. We were able to raise funds to build them a new home. Since doing this they have been able to support their family and Jaunitos meagre income. Juanito has now bee n helping the foundation by volunteering his time to build kitchen cabinets for other homes that we are building. 4. Maria and Albania We met Maria and Albania in February of 2012 when we were distributing shoes in Maggiolo. Albania asked us if we could help her mother get a new leg. Through research we were able to find a connection through the LDS Church and Orthopedic Innovations that donated a prosthesis for Maria. We made all the arrangements, paid for food and travel and she received her new leg June 28th 2012. Later we selected them to receive a new home because where they were living made it impossible for Maria to walk and because they were in dire need. They recently moved into their new home. The majority of the funds for this building were donated by Donella Sewell of Cochrane, Alberta. Donella and her family through our foundation have been helping to feed the family and have helped Albania with upgrading her schooling. 5. Carlos and Elizabeth Gardner and family We met Carlos and Elizabeth in March of 2011 when their baby was severely burned. We were able to raised $4200 for medication and surgery which we were told by doctors, saved the babys life. We held two fundraisers to raise funds for this home. This family was chosen to host our second distribution center because of their need and also the work they do in the community. We incorporated a small grocery store into their home which will help to support the family. We originally helped this family with food and clothing. Now they are helping our foundation by assisting is distribution to others. 6. Rafelo, Xiomara and family We met Rafelo and Xiomara during the flooding of November 2012 when we were delivering food packs. Their home was destroy by the flooding river. We later learned that they are very involved in the community, helping in any way they can, though their own circumstance finds them in great poverty. Rafelo and Xiomara are the parents of 4 children. Xiomara recently had cancer surgery. Our foundation raised the money for that surgery. The funds for this home were donated by Charlotte and Doug Palmer and their group from Dominican Starfish Home Make-Over Holidays. They also came in February and brought 7 suitcases of gifts to furnish the home. Rafelo makes his living driving a motorcycle taxi. He is not only supporting his wife and 4 children but his father and brother as well. Their home is tucked back in behind his father's home and we made it as big as possible so pictures are a challenge. The walls in their former home were made from cardboard. Rafael and Xiomara 7. Freddy I met Freddy in October of 2013 when we went to visit his brothers home that we had chosen for a rebuild. Freddy is single and was engaged to be married. His home was one of the worst we had seen and very dangerous to be living in. He had been gathering sticks and tin and other materials to try to improve his home. I posted the picture on facebook and two groups saw and raised the funds for the building of a new home for Freddy. One group Rubens Shoes from Vancouver came to the Dominican, made the announcement to Freddy one day and tore his house down the next. The other group that donated funds was a company from Alberta, Truehope. Freddy is very active in helping our foundation with the other homes that we are building. Freddy receives the news that he will be getting a new home. The next day a group of us tore his old home down in only 75 minutes. 8. Jenny We met Jenny in November 2013 when a group Rubens Shoes came from Vancouver, to help in the Dominican Republic. They delivered a food pack to her home. She is a single mother with 5 children. Her mother also lives with her. There were 7 people living in one bedroom. Her only means of supporting her family at that time was living a life of degradation on the street. She was cooking on a small charcoal burner inside her home. Since that time, through donatations from Rubens Shoes, Kevin Mulrenin and others we have made sure the family has food to eat, provided clothing and shoes, helped her go back to high school (where she is getting top marks) and helped her enroll in beauty school so that she will have a means of earning income. Through the kind donations of Rubens Shoes we have been able to build her a new home. Her home was furnished by monies donated by the Curtis family . Inside Jennys home, before and after. 9. We met Victor in October of 2014. Victor is a single father suffering with AIDS. He approached our foundation to help him put a roof onto his home. He also lost his wife to AIDS. Before he got sick he had started to build a home. The structure has been standing for years and he hasnt been able to finish it for his family. Funds for this home were raised by Kay Cahoon, Lighthouse Bakery, Laura Webster and others. We have been able to complete Victors home so that his family has a roof over their heads. They were living in a small rented facility and were months behind on rent and faced eviction. Victor is now helping assist others through our foundation. Victor Victor when he received the news from Louise, Foundation Director that he would be getting help to finish his home. Victor and his oldest daughter in their new home. 10. Marcelena We met Marcelena in November of 2012 when we were passing out food packs to flood victims. She is an 85 year old lady, raising two grandchildren and two great grandchildren. We chose to build Marcelena a home because of her great need and to also help future generations. She is a very positive, gracious lady. She was cooking over a fire on a stove she made herself. Funds for this home were donated by Bobbie Peterson, Color My World, Sandra Nelson and others. Thirteen year old Nathan Goode paints on his uncles shoulders. Nathan helped with this home as part of his eagle scout project. 11. We chose to build a home for this young family because they are doing so much to help themselves and others. Their home was in a dangerous situation. The foundation was crumbling and the home was falling down the hill. Neighbors had come to the rescue late one evening as a side of their home fell away. Construction continues. Funds for this home were donated the Kilgor Family through Color My World. The group came and helped with the building of this home. Because of the location of the home, 350 buckets of dirt had to be hauled by hand up the hill by hand to fill the floor of the home. 12. BIERCA LOPEZ PICHARDO and family Bierca and her family of five children lost their home to fire on February 21st, 2014. They lost everything that they owned except the clothing on their backs. Initially our foundation provided clothing for the family. We received donations to rebuild a home for them from the Oaks and ZoBell families. Construction is currently in progress. 13. When Jose and his family had a new addition, our foundation offered to build a room onto their home. It ended up being two small rooms and a bathroom. Few, if any have given more service in the community than Jose. He is constantly volunteering his time for foundation projects. The funds for this home were donated by an anonymous donor. The addition to this home is currently under construction. 14. Sandra Nelson, her family and friends chose this family from a group of pictures send to them by our director Amarilis Urena in the Dominican Republic. The new home includes a little grocery store operated by the grandma The home was torn down by a group from Ayuda foundation on June 19th 2014. Two months later the family moved into their beautiful new place. Oliver, Julie and their 3 children and grandma Rosa live in this home. 15. There are many people living in this very small home. Several of the family has degenerative kidney disease. 3 are on dialysis. Only one man has a job to try to support the entire family. His job is to fix fans. He doesnt even make enough to feed everyone. One son of the family was so excited that his parents were getting a home that he borrowed money from the back to add additional funds to make the home even nicer. Jacinto, Lina, Ana Marie and family Funds for this home were raised byKara Werner, Judy Alverez, Mette Edwards and Rebecca Alverez from Calgary 16. Upon seeing the need in the Dominican in November, we posted a small online fundraiser for this project. The money was raised in a couple of days, thanks to a few generous people. The floor was poured in early December. 17. Elvis and Julia Elvis is a carpenter. He builds the doors and windows for the homes we make in t