United Way of Long Island and its YouthBuild and VetsBuild programs have partnered with the MTV Networks Alternative Spring Break initiative to help a needy family affected by Hurricane Sandy. Dave and Ashley Juan were the recipients of the partnership. Ashley Juan just delivered her second child last week and Dave is part owner of Unsound, a surf shop in Long Beach that is still closed as a result of the storm. The Juan's have experienced a substantial loss of income as a result of Hurricane Sandy and are struggling. To make matters worse, their home was significantly damaged and they have structural issues that have made the repair work more complicated. Their insurance company has been less than helpful. They are living in a rental and trying to make repairs to their home and business. Dave is beloved in the community for his generosity and support of local charities. He is active in environmental issues, supports the local surfers with sponsorships, volunteers for Surfers Healing - an organization that teaches surfing to autistic children- and so much more.
Thanks to the partnership between United Way and MTV, 10 college students, several YouthBuild graduates and VetsBuild participants were at the Juan residence from Monday, March 17th through Friday March 22nd. They spent the week working on site performing cleanup and also energy upgrades to the building envelope, wrapping the home's exterior with rigid foam insulation and adding brand new vinyl siding. The family has also received support from the corporate world. Bosch has provided a reduced cost boiler and technical support for the installation and National Grid Foundation has provided $2,500 for a heating system.