Compassionate strangers banded together this week to raise more than $56,000 to help a 19-year-old college student whose parents were killed in Superstorm Sandy, leaving her to raise her three younger siblings on her own.
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Zoe Everett of Randolph, N.J., posted her story at the Wish Upon a Hero Foundation website.
"I was studying for an exam, waiting out Hurricane Sandy and then I received a phone call," Zoe, a student at Rutgers University, wrote at WishUponAHero.com. "At 11 p.m. on October 29th, I found out both of my parents had been killed. They were driving the pickup truck home with my two little brothers sleeping in the back seat."
Richard Everett, 54, and his wife, Elizabeth, 46, were driving through Mendham Township when winds from Superstorm Sandy sent a 100-foot-tall tree crashing down onto the cab of their truck. Their sons, 14-year-old Theo and 11-year-old Pierce, survived; 17-year-old Talia was not with them at the time.
"My brothers made it out alive but with some bumps and bruises," Zoe wrote. "I finally made it to the hospital in the morning after battling with Hurricane Sandy all night. I was no longer your typical 19-year-old. A moment in time, a second of bad luck, changed my life and my siblings' lives forever."
She immediately decided to drop out of school in order to raise her siblings, but needed help to get by.
Strangers Raise $56,000 to Help Kids Whose Parents Died in Superstorm Sandy