American couple received a shame note for their unpainted home, but now hundreds have donated to help them


Jimmy and Marilyn Curcuru have lived together in their Portuguese Hill area home in Gloucester, Massachusetts for over 50 years. They raised their three children there and previously owned a small business in the community.

But in late July, the couple received an anonymous note, allegedly from a neighbor, in their mailbox. “Please paint me! said the note, calling their house a “horror.”

Jimmy, 71, said he was “very upset at first”, not because of what the letter said, but whoever wrote the note “didn’t have the courage to sign it.”

He said they knew their house had fallen into disrepair, but a variety of health issues had recently prevented him and his wife from making big improvements to the house.

“It was cowardly of them to write a letter like this,” Curcuru said.


In 2006, Curcuru suffered a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery. Her coaching business was then shut down for months and “never really recovered,” her daughter, Michelle Curcuru Baran, told CNN. Curcuru also developed kidney problems the following year from the medications he was taking after the surgery.

Curcuru’s wife, Marilyn, 72, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis decades ago and used a power wheelchair, but became bedridden about four years ago. Their eldest daughter, Lynanne, quit her job to become her mother’s babysitter.

Curcuru worked part-time in a hardware store until two months ago. Her doctor had advised her to stop working there until the Covid-19 pandemic improves, but Curcuru decided two months ago to retire completely to “stay home more and be with [Marilyn] a bit more. ”

Baran said his father was always doing his best, but health issues made repairs to the house physically and financially difficult for the Curcuru family.

She discovered the anonymous note mailed to her parents and posted a photo of the note on Facebook.

“To my concerned neighbor, thank you for letting me know that my house needs to be painted. Guess what? I know. I’ve been working on it for almost four years, ”Baran wrote. “Myself, I always walk past houses that look like mine and wonder what’s going on in their life. I don’t judge them without knowing what they’re going through.


Once Baran made her post public, the response and outpouring of support to her family was swift, she said.

The next day, people offered to paint the house for her. The mayor of Gloucester even came by to ask how she could help. In the following days, a neighbor opened a GoFundMe page for the family and soon after, local media began reporting the story, Baran said.

” The [Facebook post] was written the day this happened, so our initial thought was anger, especially my sister who lives in the house with them and sacrificed so much… it’s pain and anger at the start, ”said Baran. But as the weeks go by and you see this outpouring of community, at this point it doesn’t really matter who wrote the note. ”

As of Saturday evening, the GoFundMe page raised nearly US $ 43,000 from more than 650 donors around the world. The money will fund not only a new paint job, but also repairs to the house’s leaky roof and the replacement of rotten wood siding and some windows that have not been updated since the 1950s. Baran said.

Although they still don’t know who wrote them the note calling their home ‘horror’, the Curcurus, who recently celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary in June, say they are grateful for everyone who has come to support their families.

“It’s very moving for me to talk about it. For all those who put in money, who sent us checks, we will send a word of thanks to each of them. I have no words to say… to thank them properly for what they do, ”said Jimmy Curcuru.


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