July 4, 2022 Updated: July 5, 2022

Flipping a house for charity in North Branford (ctinsider.com)

NORTH BRANFORD — The wait is over for followers of the SARAH Project, which aims to raise money by flipping a house.

Six months after announcing its newest fundraising venture, the SARAH Foundation has purchased a house and work has started on rehabbing it to resell to raise money for the nonprofit.

The SARAH Foundation is working in collaboration with Nicole White, founder of Social REdesign, on this project.

When completed, the house at 12 Clear Lake Road in North Branford will contain 1,400 square feet on the main floor, including a kitchen, living room, dining rooms, three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The finished basement will add 500 square feet of living space.

In the coming weeks, the public will be asked to vote weekly on interior and exterior design elements via social media, “so people feel they are buying into and they feel ownership of the project,” said SARAH Foundation Executive Director Ken Alberti.

The first votes will be for master bathroom plumbing fixture finishes. The choices include matte black, polished chrome and satin nickel.

Follow The Social REdesign on Facebook to cast your weekly votes.

The home was purchased for $256,000, with hopes to resell it for $375,000.

Like many other local nonprofits, SARAH has been forced to think about creative ways to raise money as a result of the pandemic. Many fundraising events were cancelled, resulting in a loss of donations for much needed programs.

When the home is completely redone it will be sold with 100 percent of the profits going to the SARAH Foundation, according to SARAH officials.

Some of the interior walls are down to the studs, the kitchen is devoid of appliances and plans are in the works to knock down some walls to reconfigure the interior space.

“Obviously the neighborhood drew us to it,” said White. “We’re right by Route 80, it’s within the footprint of the SARAH Foundation.”

“But what we really loved about it was that the prior homeowner took such great of it,” she said.

White expounded on the positive attributes.

She said the siding is “fabulous,” the home has new windows, a new garage door and hardwood floors throughout.

For this project, that leaves “all the fun stuff” to focus on. This includes updating bathrooms, choosing kitchen cabinets and appliances, painting and adding lighting fixtures.

Each of these projects will include input from the community.

Some of the bigger undertakings will include reconfiguring the front entrance to add a master bathroom, relocating the basement stairs and finishing the basement and converting an enclosed breezeway into a dining room.

Some of the local businesses partnering with the SARAH Project include Guilford’s Page Hardware & Appliance; Madison’s Sweitzer Waste Removal; Anderson Bros. Sanitation & Excavating Inc.; New Haven’s Tile America; AGW Hardwood Floors; Vincent Baba Architecture; Bender plumbing fixtures; Guilford Savings Bank and Guilford Foundation, Branford Community Foundation, Hamden’s CAPS CT, LLC roofing; J. Witkowsky & Sons Tree Service; Illuminate lighting; Madison Rotary; Bishop’s Orchards and Clinton Paint & Decorating.

“For the most part, it’s everybody donating the goods,” White said.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” said Alberti.

“What we can get donated, either product or services, obviously the less we have to spend,” he said.

Monetary donations are needed to cover materials such as insulation and wood. To contribute visit www.thesarahprojectct.org.

Kati Midgley, owner of Guilford’s Clarity Medical Aesthetics, donated $5,000 as soon as the project was announced.

“Nicole has always inspired me with everything she’s done, she’s so philanthropic,” Midgley said.

“What she’s doing for the foundation, to donate all the proceeds, is really incredible,” she said.

White talked about the bottom line.

“When we go to sell the house, 100 percent of the profit goes to the SARAH Foundation, so every cost that we can offset will increase the bottom line,” she said.

Liza Petra, executive director of the Guilford Foundation, talked about the foundation’s partnership with the Guilford Savings Bank and their joint support of the SARAH project.

“It’s unique, it’s interesting and a really innovate way to raise some funds for a really important local nonprofit,” Petra said.

“As we know non-profits can really use all of the support they can get these days,” she said.

For more than 65 years, SARAH has helped individuals with intellectual and/or other disabilities along the Shoreline. In addition, the Kidsteps Birth to Three program assists children and families throughout the state.

Under the umbrella of Guilford’s SARAH Foundation, more than 1,500 individuals receive support through SARAH Seneca in Branford, SARAH Tuxis in Guilford and SARAH Inc. Services include residential housing and support, day programs and recreational activities, transitional and employment services, respite care and birth-to-three early intervention services.

This project will help SARAH continue their work.

“It’s just everybody coming together for the right reason,” said White.

“It’s not like a golf event or a gala, which we do and they’re very successful, this is allowing us to engage people in a different way,” Alberti said.

SARAH Foundation, 246 Goose Lane, Suite 104, Guilford, 203-453-6531, [email protected]; SARAHfoundation.org; theSARAHprojectct.org; Facebook/Instagram The Social REdesign (@thesocialredesign) and SARAH Foundation (@sarahfoundation)

Written By: Sarah Page Kyrcz