A Fire, Then Community Spirit to the rescue

Roosevelt Island Community Rushes To the Aid of a Newcomer

Peter McCarthy
Emile Topilin
Emile Topilin
Photo by Marina Komarecki

Before fire ravaged his Island House home last weekend, Emile Topilin says he'd enjoyed "just 3.5 months of living on this beautiful island that had completely captivated me with its tranquility and UN-esque diversity." He probably had no way yet of knowing the generous spirit that's animated our community from the days of its first pioneers.

A native of Vilnius, Lithuania, Topilin, won a green card lottery to settle in America in 1997. He worked, went to college and, with his life savings, bought an apartment in Island House. He moved in on January 13th, this year.

But in the early hours of April 29th, a fire broke out in Topilin's kitchen, destroying almost everything.

Before coming to grips with the loss, he discovered something else about Roosevelt Island: you may very well have neighbors eager to help when you are in need.

Two local angels stepped up to help Topilin immediately.

They quickly helped him set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to fix up his kitchen and floors so that he can move back in. 

More good neighbors have already raced in online to give the fund an immediate kickstart. On behalf of Emile, we are happy to join forces with Emile and his kindly neighbors in asking you chip in and help our neighbor in his time of need.

Click now on this link to see what it's all about and you what can do.

We all thank you.

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