Allison Lutnick is building a home for a man named Joe, who lost all his limbs in the war. She is raising $200,000, so a bunch of vendors came to her house and donated 20 percent of their proceeds to her cause. It was such an amazing day spent with Allison and Howard Lutnick, Natalie Kaplan, Haute Hippe, Jitoris, Brett Heyman of Eddie Parker, Jack Vartanian, Theo and Kalim (Stef Greenfield and Desiree Gruber’s company) the bag Metalskin from Jen Halegua, Susan Shin had Agent Provocateur, Jessica Likenstien and her amazing art, Nina and Tammy Renaart, Stacey Paschow, Joyce Varvaotos, Laura Stolman, Jenny Cohen, Michelle Herbert, Loraine Schwartz, Stef Hirsh, Sarah Piolet, Lisa Reuben, Alexandra von Furstenberg. So many people showed their support.
Now a message from Allison: Your presence here today meant a lot to me as it is my passion to help young men who have lost limbs as a result of the war in Afghanistan. I have been to the Military Hospital in Bethesda and visited the young soldiers several times. They are just back from Germany (where they are stabilized after being wounded in Afghanistan) and their wounds are raw and brutal— burns, blindness, lost limbs, brain damage. Most of them are in their 20’s and just beginning their lives with their fiancés or their young pregnant wives or new babies. Their parent(s) or family member is devastated and by their bedside for months, losing jobs and wages while their bills pile up at home. Some of the men can talk and tell their story of stepping on an IED loaded with feces, nails, and metal pellets or being shot at by a sniper and shooting back at the sniper and killing him before collapsing to the ground or being unfortunate enough to be standing near a suicide bomber who was a child; some can’t tell their story—they have tubes in their throats to help them breathe or their throats are burned by the explosion that caused them to lose their legs or an arm or their hands, or any combination… their lives are altered forever in their efforts to guard our freedom and they are sadly forgotten by the public they serve to protect.
Typically I go to the hospital and write checks to the soldiers or their parents. No one thinks about the fact that the father or mother must stay in the hospital for weeks and months while their child is undergoing numerous surgeries and ultimately rehabilitation. They suffer financial distress and often have to leave their child to go back to work. I have focused in the past on helping the parents pay their bills so they can be by their child’s bedside without worrying about the electric bill. When I met Joe in 2012 and saw his physical situation, I knew I had to help and bring him to the attention of people who could help me help him. I also knew he would need a very special place to live for the rest of his life. Your support today is helping to build Joe a home where hopefully someday he can live with his family. So thank you for that. Today was a fun event but it had a lot of meaning and heart behind it.