Two weeks ago, I wrote about a local Toms River family that was is a pretty bad spot.  It is this kind of story that makes you wonder how any one family could possibly endure so much loss and stress. Well, our community came together to rally around them and right before the holidays, they found out that they get to keep their family home (that they built with their own hands).

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Just to recap, Heather Stamatogiannis is a widow, mom of three and is battling illnesses of her own, and on top of all that, she was danger of losing their family home. Heather lost her husband on Christmas when she was just 32 years old. She was suddenly a widow, now raising three children by herself, her daughter Brianna, severely handicapped.  Brianna has Down syndrome, epilepsy, and graves disease and suffers as many as 100 seizures a day.  She is in a wheelchair and partially paralyzed.  Heather, the mom, is battling systemic lupus and fibromyalgia herself, preventing her from being able to work.

Now, even though the house is paid off, the family was facing the prospect of losing their home due to a property tax lien that was sold.  They needed 25K for the lien by October 15th, to not be evicted, and they got it.
Heather's oldest son Andrew sprung into action with a GoFundMe campaign to help his mom and sister and the Jersey Shore answered the call.  The Social Security Disability Insurance that Heather receives was not going to be enough to pay the tax lien.  Andrew says that his mom has always taken such good care of him, and now he is trying to save her.

Their home is a ranch that the family has lived in for over twenty years, it was built by her husband, John before he died in 2009 of pancreatic cancer.  Thankfully, Mom and Brianna both get to stay in their family home thanks to the kindness of the Jersey Shore.  Helping our neighbors is what it is all about!

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