Irene Alexander lost her great-granddaughter to gun violence, only to lose her brother and husband within months of the violent tragedy.
On Monday afternoon, Michael Johnson, the president and chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, took to Facebook asking for donations and volunteers to help pay it forward this holiday season for one Madison homeowner.
The “Mrs. Irene Makeover” project aims to renovate the home of Irene Alexander, the great-grandmother of Anisa Scott, the 11-year-old shot and killed Aug. 11 in Madison. Following Scott’s death, Alexander’s brother died unexpectedly Sept. 7 and her husband passed away from cancer Nov. 9.
The loss of three family members within a 120-day span resonated with Johnson.
“If you really want to pay it forward, this is the project,” Johnson said.
The response to Johnson’s request has been swift. By Wednesday, donations had been made by Ayers Painting, GFL Environmental USA, Target, and Assemblage Architects. McKenzie Apartments has donated a washer and dryer and the Madison Concourse Hotel donated its Governor’s Suite for Alexander to stay in while her home is being remodeled.
On Tuesday, Dan Hawk, the owner of ACME Household Services, was surveying the exterior of Alexander’s home, identifying cracks in the foundation and windows that needed to be repaired or fixed. He said the kitchen and bathrooms will be remodeled and new flooring installed by the end of the project.
“We want to make it a little nicer, cozier place to come home to,” said Hawk, who is partnering with Johnson and Boys & Girls Club board member Jenny Meicher Santek on the project’s coordination.
To make a donation, click here or email Hawk at email@example.com to volunteer.
“When you are able to step up, especially this year, that is real love,” Hawk said. “That is love in action.”