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Teen helps flip house, donates money to hurricane relief

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Mandy Steinmetz has long wanted to flip a home in Boise. But each time she found a property she thought was a good fit -- one she could fix up and resell for a profit -- she got outbid. 

Finally, she turned to a higher power.

“I prayed to God that if I got the bid I would donate all the proceeds,” Steinmetz said.

Sure enough, last summer she finally got her wish, as the highest offer on an historic home that required almost a complete teardown.

Steinmetz teamed up with her neighbor on the massive project and turned to her children – Carter, 13, and Elexis, 10 – to roll up their sleeves and pitch in as well.

“The kids were our demo crew,” she said. “They also did lots of yard maintenance … mowing, weed pulling and putting on the first coat of paint.

“They also did a lot of holding stuff up for me while I nailed it in.”

The project took about five months, Carter and Elexis’ entire summer break.

“They weren’t exactly excited, but they were trying to be supportive,” Steinmetz said.

As payment for all their hard work, Steinmetz told Carter and Elexis that once the project was finished she would give them each $1,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. They finally wrapped up in August just as an unprecedented hurricane season was taking shape.

As he learned about hurricanes in science class and watched the devastation unfold on the news, Carter knew exactly where he wanted his $1,000 donation to go – toward American Red Cross hurricane relief. Accompanied by his mother and sister, Carter recently delivered a check to the Red Cross of Greater Idaho office in Boise.

“It just makes me happy because I would want people to do it for me if I were in this situation,” he said. 

Elexis gave her money to Africa New Life Ministries, which helps children living in poverty.

Donating money to those who need it most is nothing new to the Steinmetz children.

“Our entire family has always given to charity,” Carter said. “It’s always been in our hearts to give.”

Since late August, the American Red Cross, along with its community and government partners, has provided 1.3 million overnight stays and served 14.7 million meals and snacks to those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. More than 16,700 trained Red Cross disaster workers, 91 percent of them volunteers including several from Idaho, were mobilized to support hurricane relief efforts. 

If you would like to support Red Cross disaster relief or become a volunteer visit www.redcross.org/idaho or call 208-947-4357.