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Since serious leaks in the roof of the convent forced the sisters — who are sworn to poverty and spend their days caring for the sick and elderly free of charge — to embark on a mission to raise money for repairs, over $700,000 has been raised from community donations and several grants.
At this point, 85% of the exterior work is finished, and work will soon begin on interior and electrical work to complete the project. It was estimated last year that it would take $1.2 million to make all of the necessary repairs.
The sisters still need money to complete the project, including $190,000 for the rest of the exterior and $118,000 for the interior, not including the electric work, on the Spanish-style building at 3305 Country Club Road.
“We are hoping someone from the community will come forward to do the interior repairs and electrical work” said Bailey Provetto, a Country Club resident who took on the task of helping the sisters raise the money to save their convent as their PR/development liaison. “In one year, we have just raised so much from the community, from parishes, and from foundations.”
The donations have come in all forms, from anonymous cash donations of $100, to a $750 donation presented by three students of the adjacent Villa Maria Academy, who staged a series of garage sales in support of the sisters, to one woman who visited the nuns personally to present a $500 check, then returned weeks later to double the donation.
In addition, national foundations and Catholic charities have given larger donations to beef up the efforts of both local area organizations and the religious community of the nuns.
With all of the money raised, the nuns have been able to hire contractors to replace their convent’s roof and roof retaining wall, repair the Parapet that was falling off of the building, and rebuild much of the brick façade of the structure.
Still left on the exterior of the building is the renovation of the stairway leading to the roof of the convent.
Anyone wishing to help may send their tax-deductible donation to the Sisters Servants of Mary, 3305 Country Club Road, Bronx, N.Y. 10465, or call Mother Superior Elvia Navarro or Sr. Maria Tran at (718) 829-0428.
Those interested in donating money or time to the interior and electrical repairs, may also call Provetto at (718) 863-0353.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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