Community has raised $5k so far for Grandma Wright

Published 12:57 pm Friday, July 16, 2010

A community effort to fix “Grandmas house” in Landrum is off to a good start with donations totaling $5,024 so far.

Ida Mae Wright, 77, who lives on North Trade Ave. in Landrum, was alerted in June that her house had been condemned because her front porch was unsafe. The city gave Wright 30 days to begin work on the porch or she would have to vacate the property.

After hearing that her grandmothers house had been condemned, Angie Crummie, Wright’s granddaughter, began an effort to get help. She posted Facebook messages that spread quickly, videotaped her grandmother sitting on her porch and posted that recording on youtube. The video has been watched hundreds of times since it was posted. The family also sent requests for help from the television show “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.”

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More attention was brought through a front page story in the Friday, July 2 Bulletin.

The community responded quickly to the plea for help.

This project has brought an entire community together and not just that though, it has brought family and friends together too, said Crummie. I have seen and spent time with so many people that I have not seen in ages.

The Celtic Tavern held a benefit called Banding Together for Grandma last Saturday, which raised $3,348. The benefit featured local bands and was an all-day event where a couple of hundred people attended.

Work on Grandmas porch will begin tomorrow at 9 a.m. and will be done completely with volunteers.

Wright attended Saturdays event at the Celtic Tavern and family members said she had a blast and is thankful to the community. Crummie said her grandmother had never set foot in a bar prior to Saturday.

Estimates to fix the front porch have ranged from between $5,000 and $7,000 for materials, not including additional costs such as port-a-jons, food and drink for volunteers.

Estimates for other work needed in the house have been as high as $35,000. Other repairs needed include fixing the back porch, which is leaking, and repairs to the inside&bsp; of the late 1800s home.

Wright and her late husband, Lee Wright, bought their house in 1969. Wright said the house was kept up until her husbands death about 18 years ago. She has had two strokes and suffers from a few diseases, including diabetes and arthritis, and says its impossible to do repairs or afford to pay for repairs on her fixed income.

Landrum officials say they had to condemn the home for Wrights safety, as the roof of the porch is failing as well as the floor. Officials say the family has been great in this situation and they will work with the family as long as work gets started.

Work and volunteers are being coordinated by local contractor Dek Kennedy.

Donations can still be made for the cause by mailing checks to First Citizens Bank, c/o the Wright Donation Fund, 144 N. Trade St., Landrum, S.C. 29356.