By KELLY WERTHMANN
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COLORADO (KCNC) — In Colorado neighborhoods, homes buy, renovate, and sell for a lot of money. That’s precisely what’s happening to a home in Cherry Hills Village… but with a “good cause” twist.
Last year, Nancy Fitzgerald bought a house on South Clermont Street, and renovations began shortly thereafter.
“It’s going to be amazing when it’s all done,” he told CBS News Colorado’s Kelly Werthmann.
Fitzgerald did not buy the house for herself, but to support The Butterfly Foundation.
“The Mariposa Foundation is my heart and soul,” he said. “It’s for anyone who has had a tragedy in their life, and we give them a helping hand, not a handout.”
Fitzgerald started the nonprofit organization years ago and has helped numerous Colorado families in times of need. Like a wife who lost her husband in the war, Fitzgerald explained, or a family that needs support to pay their utility bills.
“We get them everything they need physically, financially, spiritually and emotionally,” he said.
When architect Ron Wells heard about The Butterfly Foundation’s mission, he had an idea.
“I could help here!” she said cheerfully.
Using his experience renovating homes, Wells is donating his time to help Fitzgerald remodel the house on Clermont Street. When it is sold, they said every penny made will go directly to the foundation.
why not share [my] talent with Nancy and make it good? Make it result in someone needing help when they otherwise wouldn’t get it,” Wells said.
Someone like José Guzmán.
“We didn’t expect that at all,” Guzmán said.
Last spring, Guzmán was diagnosed with bladder and kidney cancer. During his treatment, he was unable to work for months and his job as a freelance videographer did not give him the opportunity to take paid leave. That left his wife and children without a steady income and left Guzmán feeling hopeless.
“After receiving so much bad news that year,” she said through tears, “I almost start to believe that there is no more good news.”
But that all changed when a friend nominated him for a Mariposa Foundation grant. Guzmán received a call from Fitzgerald and was gifted $6,000 to help his family pay for medical bills and other necessities.
“If I need something, I want something, I work for it. I have never been given anything as a gift, so it was a big surprise. It was exactly what our family needed,” Guzmán said as he held back tears.
It’s that life-changing difference that has Fitzgerald so passionate about increasing her foundation’s impact.
“So passionate!” he proclaimed himself as tears fell from his eyes. “I love the work we do. We really do change lives, and it’s about Colorado and Colorado families.”
His passion is contagious. So much so that a general contractor and an interior designer also pitched in to donate their time and skills to help Fitzgerald transform the home.
“It didn’t surprise me at all that Colorado businesses would step in and try to help with something as wonderful as this,” he said. “This whole process, the butterfly effect, is bearing fruit. That is what we are doing with this house and with my team.”
Like the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly, the house will evolve this summer from a construction zone to a beautiful house. And in doing so, it will transform the lives of families across Colorado.
“It’s a labor of love…literally!” Wells said.
Fitzgerald said she hopes to remodel at least one house each year to support the foundation. If you would like to contribute or nominate someone to receive a grant from The Butterfly Foundation, please visit: coloradobutterflyfoundation.org.
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