• Couple gives savings to strangers in need after Whidbey mudslide


    COUPEVILLE, Wash. - A husband and wife said KIRO 7 Eyewitness News' coverage of the Whidbey Island mudslide inspired them to give their savings to strangers in need.

    Slide victims near Coupeville are still waiting for money from a fundraiser to be handed out.

    Richard Andrews and his wife, Dian Andrews, said they watched victim Tom O’Neill on KIRO 7 as he showed the news crew where his roof was caving in.

    "We just both were sitting there, and we looked at each other, and we both knew this was the right thing to do,” said Richard Andrews.

    O’Neill said his landlord said he and his wife would have to leave at the end of their lease this month.

    "I need about $1,500.  That's all I need.  I've got a place lined up.  I've done all the footwork,” said O’Neill.

    The community hosted a benefit and opened a donation account. 

    The homeowner’s association controls more than $13,000 raised so far, but victims have to apply to receive the funds.

    A committee will decide who will receive the money and it won’t be handed out until next month.

    "I just think if we were in that predicament, we would hope to have help, too,” said Dian Andrews.

    The Andrews called KIRO 7 and a news crew brought them to the O’Neills.

    The Andrews handed over $1,500 to the couple in need, only asking them to pay their kindness forward.

    O’Neill said the money will pay for movers, boxes, a rental truck and the peace of mind of being safe.

    “(The Andrews) have got friends for life.  They might as well set another place at the table -- this fat boy's coming for dinner -- and vice versa,” said O’Neill.

    The Andrews said they had been saving the money for a vacation to Alaska.  They said the trip isn’t canceled, just postponed.

    Applications for the donation fund money were mailed out to slide victims Friday.

    They have to fill them out and mail them to the homeowner's association by May 6.

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