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Outpouring of support building a foundation to construct bombing victim a new home

7:00 PM, May 14, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Support Helping To Heal

Image courtesy: Dan Engelhardt

SACO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- When Terry Bragdon heard her friend Karen Rand had been injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, she panicked.

PHOTOS: Boston bombing victim

"I was just feeling for the family," she explained.

When she caught wind that Rand wanted to move back home to Maine to recover and be close to family, she went into action.

"She contacted me and said, 'I want to move home to Maine to heal. Would you help me find a house in Old Orchard Beach? I want to be in Old Orchard Beach close to my family,'" said Bragdon.

"My first thought was, I don't know how I am going to find her a house that is going to suit her needs," she continued.  "You know there is a lot of older construction in Old Orchard Beach.  It is going to be difficult."

Bragdon, a real estate professional, got to work, and contacted a few other people in the business to see what they could do.  Once word spread, people started flooding her with phone calls and emails asking how they could help.

"So many people have called plumbers, electricians, landscapers, lighting companies, so many people have called to donate their time or materials," she said. 

"I mean people have called saying I'll plant flowers, I'll bring food, I'll paint, I'll do finish carpentry, I'll do just anything needed, everybody is donating.  It is just overwhelming," she added.  "Every time I talk to Karen now, cause I have told her about it, she cries on the phone because she can't believe the generosity of people that don't even know her.   Some of these people, most of them don't even know her and they are just willing to do whatever it takes to get her this home."

That includes Elliott Chamberlain, president of Chamberlain Homes.

"For somebody to go through such a tragic event, I think it is the least we can do to put her in a new home so she can have something she can count on and have a better living experience for what she has to deal with today," explained Chamberlain.

Now they are looking for more people to help them make this dream a reality.  Bragdon is looking for the right parcel of land in Old Orchard Beach that is buildible, and is even considering properties where a home may need to be torn down to make this project happen.

Chamberlain is seeking out contractors from all the building trades that would be willing to donate time, materials or both to help build an handicap accessible home for Rand.  He hopes once they find the right spot, they can get to work and have the house ready for Rand to move in to in the fall.

"I think good things are coming around for Karen because she has so many great friends and people that love and care for her," her brother, Dan Engelhardt stated.

"The hope is to get Karen a place to live in Maine, something that is appropriate for her current health situation," he added.

They have set up the Karen Rand fund for people looking to hep through donations at Town and Country Credit Union.  People wanting to help financially can do so at any of their branches.

Bragdon is hoping someone will come forward with a plot of land that will work for the project, and while it does not have to be free, she hopes it will be reasonably priced so they can keep Karen from incurring any costs.  She can be reached at tbragdon@maine.rr.com if someone has an idea or an offer for her to explore.

In the meantime, Elliott Chmaberlain is gathering a team of contractors to get the job done.  He says he will oversee the project from permitting to completion and encourages anyone in the building trades industry to contact him at elliott@chamberlainhomes.com to get involved.

While the idea is just in its infancy, it is obvious to the people involved that Mainers want to help Karen Rand move back home and move on with her life.

"Karen is making really nice progress, given everything that's happened," her brother noted.  "Karen is a really a strong person and I think sometimes strong people hold it in, but I think it has been coming out slow and sure and the doctors like that, that is something that has to happen."

What has made the biggest impression on Dan Engelhardt is how people have rallied around the bombing victims, and the positive energy and outcomes that have come about as a result of the tragedy.

"Karen is a very humble person," he said.  "It is hard for her to really even wrap her head around people doing such things for her, but if there are people out there that have it in their heart to do it, I think that is a wonderful thing."

 

NEWS CENTER

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