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'Miracle on 8th Street': Ashtabula community rallies together after man loses brother

Dozens of volunteers fixed up a man's house after the unexpected loss of his brother.

ASHTABULA, Ohio — In a season of brotherly love, you'd be hard-pressed to find any pair closer than John and Matthew Aylward. Spending their days fixing up a house that could use some love of it's own on 8th Street in Ashtabula.

They were living their dream, until everything had to stop.

“I lost my Dad 5 years ago and my mom 3 years ago and I just lost my brother, it will be 11 months this month,” John Aylward said.

Matthew's unexpected death piled onto the deaths of his Mom and Dad.

John has been struggling to renovate the home alone.

So his cousin, Candis Carmello, posted his story on an Ashtabula community page, asking for help with drywall.

Friday, she stood with dozens of people helping her cousin John.

“This is everything, this is our community, this is what Christmas and community is all about, it's something you don't see. It's something you don't see everyday,” Carmello said.

What went from a simple ask, transformed in a few hours to dozens of people and businesses offering to finish what the brothers started, by fixing up the house.

They’re ensuring John has heat, hot water and a bed where he can rest between shifts as a dishwasher at a local restaurant.

“We have all the way from contractors doing trees, to roofers, to electricians to plumbers and just amazing, I believe we have over 40 volunteers here from different companies,” said Asa Cox, with local charity organization Asa’s Angels said.

John only has one way to describe his surprise.

“It's a miracle, like they say it's a 'Miracle on 34th Street,' it's a miracle here they're helping me out,” Aylward said.

He has an idea of what Matt is thinking as he looks down on their very own "Miracle on 8th Street."

“He would be happy and all of that, he would be very, very happy,” Aylward said.

Here are the local people and organizations we’ve been told stepped up: 

  • Kyle Adkins from Adkins Diversified
  • Amanda Bovee from Revitalize Functional Health 
  • Joe Scheanon from Advanced HVAC and Electrical Services 
  • Asa Cox and volunteers from Asa’s Angels of Hope
  • Angela Kendall with Elite Staffing
  • The staff at Iron Sight Arms and Tactical Supply
  • Luis Navarro with Los Compadres
  • Brobst Tree and Stump Service
  • Harbor Perk Coffeehouse and Roasting Company
  • Ringer Screen Print
  • Rennick Meat Market
  • Kendall Foundation Gives Back
  • Tony Tirado with True Finish Landscaping
  • Dale and Tina Green
  • Brenda Campbell-Ernst
  • Dominic and Bretteny Berrier from Harrison’s Doggie Spaw
  • Webber Electric Supply 
  • And numerous other community volunteers.

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