Oviedo Realtor Allison Day, far left, with Roni O’Quinn, Jason Weller and their children in front of their first home, which had to be rebuilt following a fire that happened shortly after the family moved in.
OVIEDO, Fla. — Allison Day, a Realtor® with RE/MAX Optima in Oviedo, was thrilled when the Roni O’Quinn-Jason Weller family she was working with finally closed on their dream home the day before Thanksgiving 2015.
“They bought a foreclosure, and it was a nightmare getting to the closing table,” she recalled. “But, it was their first home, and it was perfect for them.”
The home required quite a bit of sweat equity, and the customers finally moved in on December 4, 2015. “The wife, Roni, just had a baby and they had three other children,” Day said. “She frequently updated me about the house and the renovations. She wanted the front room ready for Christmas. She even sent me a photo of her 10-year-old in front of the fireplace.”
Less than an hour after seeing the photo, another nightmare unfolded.
“The homeowner called and told me they just had a fire,” Day said. “The fireplace wasn’t properly distinguished and the home went up in flames. It’s been difficult for the mom because she felt responsible. But, she never had a fireplace before. She didn’t know. Thankfully, the family was OK but the home was destroyed. It was right before Christmas last year and they used their savings to buy the house. Most of their belongings went up in smoke.”
Day was devastated and knew she needed to take action. “I posted on Facebook about the news story that was featured on television. I told people that it was my customer and asked for help.”
She had no idea just how much help would come.
“I couldn’t keep up with the phone calls and emails,” she said. Through the GoFundMe.com account, people donated almost $6,000. And, that was just a small portion of the overall donations.
“People donated baby formula, clothing, food, everything,” she said. Day’s broker allowed her to set up a donation center at the office. “The Realtor community came out in full force,” she said.
In fact, a group from another real estate office brought over a shopping bag full of gift cards to Walmart, Target, local restaurants and more. “Every year, the agents donate gift cards, then they pick an organization to donate it to. They picked this family.”
Also, several local businesses – such as The Mattress Guys in Oviedo and a local chef – donated goods and services.
“The Realtor community jumped in and never asked any questions. This family was ‘one of their own,’” Day said. “The family said that it solidified their decision to buy in the Winter Springs community. They were astounded by all the people who reached out with kindness and love.”
The family started rebuilding in spring 2016 after receiving an insurance payout. The good news is, the house has been fully restored and the family was able to move back into their home right before Thanksgiving. “They are grateful for the Realtor community’s kindness,” Day said. “They are looking for ways to pay it forward.”
For Day, it’s just another day in the life of a busy real estate professional.
“I don’t want recognition for this; the real estate community and others came together to help this family,” she said. “I have had some incredible people in my life. They taught me to reach out. It’s how I was raised.”
A member of the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association, Day is dedicated to her profession and to her community. She has taken additional education courses to enhance her knowledge and expertise, earning the professional certifications of e-Pro, conveying proficiency in the use of technology, and the Transnational Referral Certification (TRC).