A college student who lost her parents to Hurricane Sandy is having her life rebuilt thanks to the generosity of strangers.
Zoe Everett was just a normal 19-year-old college student before the hurricane ripped through the east coast, killing her parents, and leaving her with three younger siblings to take care of.
According to the Daily Mail, Everett's parents Richard Everett, 54, and, Elizabeth Everett, 46, were killed when a tree fell on their truck while they were driving through their hometown of Mendham Township, New Jersey. Her younger brothers -- Theo, 14, and Pierce, 11 -- were also in the vehicle but were not seriously injured. Another sister Thali, 17, was not with the family at the time.
"I was studying for an exam, waiting out Hurricane Sandy and then I received a phone call. At 11 p.m. on October 29th, I found out both of my parents had been killed," Everett wrote on the Wish Upon A Hero website.
After being reunited with her siblings, Everett found that while lawyers were trying to assess the family's financial situation, she temporarily had no access to any of their parents money. Still, she was determined to care for her orphaned siblings.
According to NJ.com, the 19-year-old then then turned to the website Wish Upon A Hero for help.
Everett posted about the tragedy and asked for a total donation of $5,000 to help her until her parents' funds became available.
I was no longer your typical 19-year-old. A moment in time, a second of bad luck, changed my life and my sibling's lives forever.
I now have two goals: caring for and being guardian of my three younger siblings and keeping my family in the house we grew up in.
The Internet's reponse to Everett's heartefelt post was overwhelming. After making its rounds on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, more than $56,000 was raised for the family in just one day.
Wish Upon A Hero's founder, Dave Girgenti, told NBC: "This wish was spectacular. The goal for Zoe Everett was only $5,000. The entire country came together to help this girl with her tragedy. Her wish is granted."
Though offers from donors were still flooding in, Everett soon "closed" her wish and said she wants the money to go to other needy families.
She wrote a heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated on the website:
"Wish Upon a Hero has raised funds for my family that have exceeded our wildest dreams. At this point, my family's needs have been met. We would like to draw attention and further donations to other individuals whose needs have not yet been met. My family has been so blessed, and we would like to be able to do the same for others who have suffered the misfortune of Hurricane Sandy.
Also on HuffPost:
<a href="http://drdaveores.tumblr.com/">Dr. Dave Ores posted on his tumblr,</a> "I’m open today if I can help anyone. Until 6 pm. Spread the word. Thanks. 189 east 2nd street btw A and B" And that's not all he's doing for his neighbors in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. He also assembled 80 sandwiches today and handed them out on the street. Plus, he plans to do the same tomorrow.
A Facebook update from <a href="https://www.facebook.com/thedrinkbrooklyn?ref=stream">The Drink in Manhattan</a> hopes to help their fellow bars in the area.
This photo of a friendly neighbor on the East Coast has gone viral.
The Dutch offers up <a href="https://twitter.com/andrecarmellini/status/264061816408244224">free food</a> to New Yorkers.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/cory-booker-neighbors-hurricane-sandy_n_2059971.html?1351805482&ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009"> invited Hurricane Sandy victims to his house</a> to charge their electronics, watch movies, and even get a free lunch.
This photo, taken by Instagram user Emily Katter shows people <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Femilykatter.com%2F&ei=ORKUUN4QpojaBYbqgLgD&usg=AFQjCNGkXYuIhbalKwMy1hPKNORa7-dDqA">writing down their emotions about Hurricane Sandy</a> on Post-It Notes.
This <a href="https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/statuses/264075384109268992">magical young man</a> is helping Hurricane Sandy victims.
Lonestar Taco headed downtown to <a href="https://twitter.com/LonestarTacoNYC/status/264029625397678081">feed the people in the South Street Seaport</a> today.
Anderson Cooper <a href="http://instagram.com/p/RfmxG1kkLl/">posted this photo</a> on Instagram, writing "Sharing power from our sat truck with Hoboken residents needing to charge phones and get online #Sandy"
According to the Sayville Patch, a <a href="http://sayville.patch.com/articles/a-random-act-of-kindness-in-response-to-sandy-s-visit#photo-12002555">Lincoln Avenue, Sayville resident </a>is hoping to make life a bit warmer and satisfying for local neighbors and community members in Long Island.
Banfield Pet Hospital, the world’s largest veterinary practice, is offering free office visits and physical exams for more than 140 hospitals in the states affected by Sandy, according to a statement. The waived office visit fee covers a physical examination by the veterinary team; however, excludes any testing, treatments or medications.
According to the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/HurricaneSandyActsOfKindness?ref=stream&filter=3">Hurricane Sandy Acts of Kindness Facebook page</a>, "A resident assists in rescue efforts with his jet ski as emergency personnel rescue residents from flood waters brought on by Hurricane Sandy in Little Ferry, New Jersey October 30, 2012."
According to the Examiner, Ann, from East Northerport, New York is just one of the many <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/in-recovery-from-hurricane-sandy-kindness-is-catching?cid=rss">good samaritans who used Facebook as one way to offer shelter and hot showers</a> to friends and family in need. She is currently hosting her daughters' friends whose homes are without power. My sister and brother in law are here now showering and catching up on news and hot tea," she reports. "I try to live the golden rule."