10.26.2011

Mary Rush





PNOLA is happy that we will finally be able to lift the burden off of this elderly woman thanks to United Way SELA’s ‘Hope for the Holidays’ program, which has connected us to New Orleans Saints player Jahri Evans, who has generously donated the funds necessary to complete this project.
A retired widow, Mary volunteers at a local school to give back to her community and is helping her daughter Sabrina raise her three children (Christopher 19, Kayla 15, Miacha, 9) while she serves in the Army. Sabrina has served her country overseas in Afghanistan and plans to retire from the military so she can watch her children grow up and take care of her Mom. Mary is the “Mom” around her neighborhood on Gayoso St and looks after all of the community, adults and children alike. Her neighbor’s are just as excited as she is to have her come back home.
During Katrina, Mary was at Touro Hospital at her husband’s bedside and they were stranded there with other patients without power. Ultimately, Mary’s husband was air lifted to Houston and she could not locate him for over 2 weeks. He ended up passing away one month after Mary located him. This experience was very traumatic for her, and remaining outside of her home is a daily reminder of the pain she has gone through. A tough woman, Mary has survived her son who passed away at the age of 29 to Huntington’s disease (only expected to live to be 10 years old, he wowed doctors by graduating from high school and college and almost making it to his 30’s).
Purchased in 1988, this home was meant to be the home that she and her husband retired in. Though her husband has since passed, she has many happy memories of time spent with her family, and would like to make new memories with her grandchildren in the home that she loves. Upon returning to New Orleans after the flood Mary applied for and received enough money to renovate her home through the Road Home Program. Unfortunately, a fraudulent contractor saw her as easy prey and stole the entirety of her award, leaving her with nothing but the hope that her meager income would be enough to save up to rehabilitate her home. Mary has said that she is so disappointed that someone would take that money that was meant to bring her family home, but that she prays that God will find a way.

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