An 82 year old Ocean County veteran discovered just how awesome people can be when a tree fell through his roof.

Joe Riccardo of New Egypt didn’t have the money to fix the gaping hole in his roof, but his neighbors came to his rescue. According to ABC 6 Philadelphia, Amanda and Kyle Nilsen didn’t even know someone was living in the house when they went to check on their neighbor’s damage from Tropical Storm Isaias, but they found Riccardo, who was exposed to the wind and the rain through the hole in his roof. They came to find out he also had been living without heat for three years, according to the New Jersey News Network.

Riccardo couldn’t afford the heating oil, so to keep warm he used space heaters. While he had insurance for the roof, he couldn’t cover the deductible, so the Nilsens decided to do something about it. They started a fund raising campaign to not only cover the deductible for the roof repair, but to fix his broken furnace, as well. The whole community pitched in to help, not only with monetary donations, but with meals and other items. They even got local companies to come together and remodel Joe’s home. The tree has now been removed and the roof fixed.

The Nilsens started the fund raising campaign on a charitable site called the 5Help Foundation, and they are still collecting money to renovate Joe’s house; you can contribute by clicking here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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