Mick Foley Offers Helping Hand to Long Beach Resident

4/3/13 in WWE   |   kjbriden   |   19 respect

Furniture Donated by Mick Foley 
This week, as Wrestlemania attracts thousands of wrestling fans to MetLife Stadium, the WWE and its wrestlers have dedicated time and resources to raising money for families affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Mick Foley, known for his charitable work and a member of this year’s Hall of Fame class, extended a helping hand to Long Beach resident Alexandra Gialanzé and her family.
                Gialanzé, 23, is a part-time student and works at a group home for people with developmental disabilities.  She is also a member of the Long Beach Auxiliary Police Department.  When her parents and younger brother were evacuated the night before the storm, Gialanzé stayed behind to help evacuate the city.  Forced to take shelter at her neighbor’s house, Gialanzé waited for the flood waters to recede before wading through “knee-deep” water back to her home.  “[She] entered through the side door and nothing seemed out of place except for about two inches of water on the floor.”  However, Gialanzé says that when she entered the kitchen, she “saw how bad things were.”
                “About half of my bedroom furniture was in the kitchen.  Mostly plastic drawers that I used for storage of papers, old notes from school, photographs, etc.  They all floated into the kitchen.  Our refrigerator doors were open and some items were on the floor. All of the cabinets were open and some pots and pans were out.  Some of the heavier stuff in my room, like my television cabinet and dresser were actually moved away from the walls.  There was like, brown mud everywhere.  Water had backed up from the sewers and toilets, bathtub and sinks, so it probably wasn’t mud…  The water was four feet high in the house, so even though I had put some of the more valuable things on top of our beds… they didn’t survive.”  Gialanzé says a few things were salvaged: a coffee table, a few end tables, and their televisions that were high enough off the ground to escape the water.  Gialanzé and her family went to live with her grandfather, her aunt, and her uncle.  “We were literally sleeping on the floor for almost two months.  There were seven of us and we were very cramped.  It was hell.” 
                Now, Gialanzé and her family are now renting a home and have been slowly purchasing new furniture while they prepare to rebuild their home.  A few items have come from other people: “the computer desk I have now I got about a month ago,” she says, “a neighbor was getting rid of it and asked if I wanted it.  We have a simple loveseat from our landlord...  My dad had saved this old table set from when he first moved out of his parents’ house in the 70s, and we used that as a dining room table…  Things are starting to get better as we’re moving forward with the house, but it’ll be six months at the end of April, and it’s like we’ve gotten nowhere.  Our house is still a gutted moldy shack, crumbling on its damaged foundation.  We’re still living in someone else’s house.”
                Gialanzé says that she was very young when the children of family friends got her hooked on wrestling.  “I found out a couple of boys in elementary school watched, so we’d talk about it.  My grandpa watched.  Which was odd, because I don’t think he truly understood what was going on… but he took me to shows.”  After a while, though, Gialanzé says that “no one I knew watched anymore… so I stopped.  Then started watching again.  Now I’m obsessed.”
                On March 24th, Foley Tweeted that he was looking for a Long Island family in need of furniture.  Gialanzé replied to the message with her story and told him that her family had lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.  “I never thought he would even see my Tweet, let alone respond to it.”  When he offered her a dining room table, six chairs, and a hutch, “I was completely speechless!  I was so excited but everyone else in the house was asleep because it was late, so I called up my friend Corey in Vegas because he was the only person I knew who would be awake.  I had to tell someone!  I finally felt something was going right for my family.”
                Gialanzé says that receiving the table is “a step towards normalcy.  We can have a meal as a family without sitting right on top of one another.  My parents seem more cheerful and relaxed than they did.  My mom’s excited because she now has a point of reference of how big she needs the dining room to be in the new house.  It’s one less thing that they have to worry about, too…  Its one thing to get money to rebuild our house, but it’ll still be empty when it’s built…  We really truly are starting over completely.  We have an actual dining room again.”
                Foley contacted Gialanzé again to ensure she got the furniture, and asked that she invite him over for dinner so “he can eat at his old table one last time.”  Gialanzé says his act of kindness has allowed her to be less cynical.  “It's just nice knowing that there are good people out there and celebrities who really just want to help. I'm sure when he first put out the Tweet he didn't expect someone like me to answer…  A lot of people out there are very apathetic,” but his donation reminded her “that there are genuinely nice people out there.”
                When contacted via Twitter for comment, Foley responded: “I am simply thrilled that [Gialanzé] has given such a warm and caring home to my furniture.”
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4/4/13   |   kjbriden   |   19 respect

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