Stow, MA Last fall, numerous volunteers celebrated the first major step toward the completion of a new home for the Schultz Family. This fall, these same generous contributors were invited back to be thanked for their endless support.
As many have seen through various media outlets, the Schultz’s lost their 5-year-old son Ari after a hard-fought battle. Ari was born with a serious heart condition requiring a transplant. He captured the attention of over 100 million people when he learned he’d get a new heart. As a shock to many, Ari passed away peacefully in July while listening to his favorite team, the Red Sox.
Midway through Ari’s nearly 200 days at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, his family realized their house was unsafe, having found black mold behind their walls to the point where the home had to be demolished. Dan James, vice president, general superintendent at Erland, lives in the same neighborhood as the Schultz’s and assembled a team of volunteers and donors to help build a new home for the family.
His call to action brought a whole community together. Neighbors, colleagues, and complete strangers joined forces to give the Schultz’s a new place to call home. For anyone who has followed this family’s journey, the road to rebuilding was an inspirational one. The outpouring of support will never be forgotten.
In addition to providing some help and peace-of-mind to the Schultz family, one of the major takeaways of this project was being surrounded by the generous, positive spirit of all the volunteers and donors. Whether it was the companies who donated goods and services, the workers themselves who came after working regular hours at other jobsites, or the friends and neighbors who brought food or helped clean-up, being a part of an industry and community that exemplifies just how good people can be was truly remarkable.
On Saturday, September 29, the Schultz Family recognized every single person that lent a helping hand throughout the rebuilding of their home. The “Appreciation Reception” was an opportunity for the volunteers to tour the new house and celebrate with the family. Ari’s mother, Erica Schultz, shared a heartfelt thanks to all whom made their new home possible on behalf of the family (Mike, Ari, Lexi, and Eli): “Thank you to all who helped to build our beautiful new home. The home far exceeds our expectations and we feel incredibly lucky to live here. We are so touched by the generosity of so many--most of you complete strangers. In a terribly challenging time you stepped up to help a family in need and we are completely blown away. We are humbled and grateful for all you have done. Words cannot express what it means to us and we only hope that you know how thankful we are. You went above and beyond and we don't know what we would have done without you. In many ways, you gave us a shining light in a very dark time of our lives. We will never forget your generosity and will work to pay it forward for others. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”