Volunteers repair Monmouth County veteran's house for free

A Monmouth County community came together to renovate a World War II veteran's house without him knowing - and he got to see it in person for the first time Sunday.

News 12 Staff

May 24, 2020, 1:48 PM

Updated 1,431 days ago

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A Monmouth County community came together to renovate a World War II veteran's house without him knowing - and he got to see it in person for the first time Sunday.
Jerry Gottlieb, 93, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War, and following World War II, he met his sweetheart, Estelle. They've been married for 72 years and live in the house owned by Estelle's parents.
The house, however, needed work. Millstone contractor Tony Arpaia started a Facebook page called Hands Reaching Out to Hands, with the goal of helping a veteran in need.
"The house needed a considerable amount of work. As we started to do one project, something else broke," says Arpaia.
While Jerry and Estelle spent the winter and early spring in Florida, Arpaia and hundreds of people volunteered their time and money to help renovate the Gottlieb's home for free.
Following months of hard work by the community and local contractors, Jerry and Estelle made their way back to Millstone, New Jersey to see their home for the first time since it's been renovated. The house had received $125,000 in upgrades.
Jerry and Estelle arrived after two days of driving.
Arpaia and the community also helped raise over $7,000 to pay for Jerry and Estelle's property taxes for the year.
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