Deer Park community rallies around woman, helps her find a place to live
A Deer Park woman says she is feeling thankful this Thanksgiving for the kindness and generosity of people who helped get a roof over her head.
Carol Calvagno never thought she'd end up homeless and living out of her car. In 2006, News 12 reported that she had been the victim of a mortgage scam that forced her from her home. Then, Calvagno's husband passed away.
Last month, Calvagno parked her car behind St. Cyril Church and ran out of gas. After a couple of days of seeing the car, Erin Aiello knocked on the window.
"I had to help. Something just drew me to her," says Aiello.
Aiello heard Calvagno's story of hardship and decided to rally the Deer Park community to help. A GoFundMe page was created, and numerous people stepped up.
The donations were able to get her a hotel room and care for her cat. Then, realtor Amy Kernaghan was able to find her an affordable apartment.
"People do judge a book by it's cover, and they have to realize if you open the book, there is really somebody so special," says Kernaghan.
On Thursday, everyone got together to celebrate over coffee and discuss moving plans. Calvagno says Thursday was less about the outpouring of support and more about new connections.
"Everybody was worried about things and talking about what I needed. The only thing I was concerned about is that I made new friends," says Calvagno.
Calvagno says she'll be moving into her new apartment at the beginning of next month, and is excited about the next chapter of her life - a chapter she says might not have been written without the help of others.
"Whoever doesn't believe in miracles, think again. And whoever doesn't believe there is a God ... think again," she says.