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.”