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Community helps single mother rebuild collapsing home

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Jane Cunningham's home of 25 years was in desperate need of renovation and her family's medical debt was climbing after her son was diagnosed with cancer. But her Sudbury, Massachusetts community stepped in, helping her to rebuild her home and pay her son's medical bills. Nancy Chen reports.

Video Transcript

- We end tonight with a story of neighbors coming together in an often divided nation. Here's CBS's Nancy Chen.

NANCY CHEN: Scraping snow is a chore most people dread. But for Jane Cunningham, it's a blessing.

JANE CUNNINGHAM: This is the home everybody's grown up in.

NANCY CHEN: Her home of 25 years in Sudbury, Massachusetts was a sanctuary as she became a single mother raising three children, including a son diagnosed with cancer. But the house that was their foundation was falling apart. The roof collapsed, animals invaded, and they stopped living in parts of the home for their health.

JANE CUNNINGHAM: There was mold everywhere. Other things were just crumbling. It was kind of like our life fell apart a few years ago. It just became too much.

NANCY CHEN: With medical debt climbing, Cunningham had few options but to move. Until a friend started a fundraiser to replace her roof. It caught the eye of construction executive Dave Fenton, who immediately started making calls.

DAVE FENTON: It was in my town, and without a doubt, it was something we needed to do.

NANCY CHEN: Before long, about 20 people got involved, donating materials and labor to fix the house.

DAVE FENTON: The roof had to go first and then we went in the inside. And there was a ton of mold, drywall rot, insulation was in disrepair. So I reached out to another friend of ours, who does a lot of that work, and they came in with a demolition crew.

NANCY CHEN: The community raised about $50,000 worth of donations to repair her home and pay off medical bills, changing the lives of Cunningham and her family.

JANE CUNNINGHAM: When you're carrying a lot of problems alone, it can feel very alone with them and very overwhelmed. What they did, it's like taking a boulder off my back.

Here we go. This is it. So this is my new family room. Doesn't it look great?

NANCY CHEN: Sometimes it takes a village to give a home. Nancy Chen, CBS News, New York.