Businessman steps up to help foreclosure family

Elite Marble and Granite boss pays year’s rent for family

An emotional Emily Seymour thanks Mike Laurenson for donating more than $20,000 to pay for a year’s worth of rent. – Photo: Matt Lamers

A kind-hearted businessman has donated more than $20,000 to pay a year’s worth of rent for retired post office worker Emily Seymour, who lost her home to foreclosure.

Mike Laurenson, who owns Elite Marble and Granite, read Ms. Seymour’s story in the Cayman Compass last week and immediately decided to help.

“You shouldn’t have to worry about being homeless at that age after you’ve worked all your life. You should be looking forward to relaxing on the front porch with your feet up,” he said.

Ms. Seymour, who worked for the post office and at the Wholesome Bakery, could no longer afford to pay the mortgage and the cost of repairs on her Bodden Town home, which was damaged and flooded during Hurricane Ivan.

The home, only partially repaired after the storm, was ridden with mold and had become a health hazard for the 67-year-old and her extended family, including three grandchildren.

The bank has foreclosed on the property and Ms. Seymour and her family had until the end of February to find somewhere else to live.

Now, with Mr. Laurenson’s help, they can move into a new place in East End.

“I read the story and I decided to help out. It’s quite a heart rending story, for her to lose her home at that age. They didn’t seem to have much income coming in, so we have said we will pay the deposit and the rent from now till February next year.

“Hopefully, with what they save, they can put food on the table and put enough aside so they can find a place they can afford in the long term.”

Ms. Seymour said Tara Nielsen from the charity Acts of Random Kindness had called to tell her the good news on Friday.

“I feel so happy, like a different person. After Tara called me and said, ‘I have some good news. I have someone to sponsor you,’ all I could do was cry. I am so grateful,” she said.

Ms. Nielsen, of ARK, which had appealed for help on behalf of Ms. Seymour, said she was impressed by the generosity.

“We hoped we might get something, but for him to cover the full amount is just amazing,” she said. “I am walking on air, it is like winning the lottery for them. It will make such a difference to their lives.”

Part of ARK’s remit is to help find private sector donors to assist the least fortunate in society. Not every hard luck story has a happy ending, but Ms. Nielson says one donation can make a huge impact.

“It just takes one person to feel touched by a story,” she said. “Everyone has the freedom of choice to decide how and where they want to help in the community. I think Mike read the story and realized he could make a real difference in the lives of this family.”


  1. I think this is a generous donation made to a well worthy cause. Now I have on my thinking cap, How many others can come to the rescue of Mrs Seymour is seeing that at the end of February next year she has a permanent home of her own to live in. She may have property that a structure can be built on, or the loan paid on her existing home or even help her to buy one of the Government affordable homes. Its all about caring and sharing. Some times it makes me sad to hear people say “Because of bad planning some fail” Remember life is uncertain, and NO ONE , no matter how much we have , know exactly what tomorrow may bring. So let us be kind to each other as we journey.

    • Well said Ms. Twyla. We are oft too quick to judge others. Thank goodness the family shared their needs and put pride aside. Thank you, Mr. Laurenson for such an unselfish act of kindness. Perhaps someone can also offer financial advice to the family as they save towards next year. This story makes my heart smile.

  2. Well said Twyla! Would this have made a substantial down-payment on one of the affordable homes? Next February is a short time away and then what? There should be a plan in place for affordable housing for seniors in the Cayman Islands with these really almost non existent pension amounts. The houses are done, sitting there empty at the last report. We go back to the old saying, give a man a fish, one meal, teach him to fish, lots of meals.
    Thanks to Mr. Laurenson for his kindness.

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