The founder and director of Madonna House in Neptune is once again asking for donations so she can stay in the building where she also runs a thrift store.
Madonna House, founded in 1987, is a non-profit organization supporting destitute women and children.
Founder Rebecca Blonski said she recently received a letter from the mortgage holders of the building calling in the entire $123,000 mortgage on the property in 30 days.
If the entire amount is not paid by then, the letter states, foreclosure proceedings will begin.
The mortgage holder, whom Blonksi chooses not to name, had originally given Blonski until September 2016 to pay the amount but has had a change of heart.
The mortgage holder first called in the mortgage about a year ago. During that time Blonski was able to raise $89,000 through social media including a gofundme.com page and Facebook. Other donations came from church groups and mailings.
Recently a social work intern at Jersey Shore Medical Center who is also a member of the Tinton Falls Emergency Squad held a pancake breakfast for Madonna House raising $1000.
Blonski said her thrift store has been a staple for the needy in the shore area, adding that Jersey Shore Medical Center sends 100 percent of its needy patients there for household items and clothing.
“We don’t want to close; we help so many families,” she said.
Blonski said the mortgage holder cited a lack of communication for suddenly calling in the mortgage, but Blonski said she has been paying $1249 every month to pay down the amount.
“Isn’t sending a mortgage payment every month communication,?” Blonski asked.
Recalling the history of Madonna House, Blonski said she lost her Madonna House building on Route 33 to eminent domain in 1998 when the state widened the highway.
That forced her to move to her current Route 35 location which was the former Frank and Betty Toy Store after it closed.
Blonksi actually worked for many years at the toy store and was familiar with the layout of the building.
At that time she received $90,000 from the state through eminent domain and from a donor who “miraculously” gave her 1000 shares of General Electric stock, which amounted to $140,000.
“That was our downpayment on this building,” she said.
The building at that time was listed with a realtor for $340,000.
In 1998 she called the realtor but told him she didn’t have the funds to buy the building.
“I told him I don’t have any money and I told him, so God wants us to buy the building, he’ll provide a way. The guy thought I was some kind of nut,” she said laughing.
Blonski said the request for the entire mortgage amount came as a surprise.
“I was completely taken aback,” she said. “They decided they don’t want to wait, so I’m praying.”.
Blonski has 9 children, seven of whom are adopted, two with extreme disabilities.
Approaching age 71 she said she could move to senior housing, but could not take her two handicapped sons, age 17 and 20, with her.
“I’m so proud of what we raised this past year. It comes from people who give from the heart so I’m so proud of that,” she said.
Blonski said the majority of donations range from as little as $1 to $100.
To make a donation mail to 1401 7th Avenue in Neptune or visit themadonnahouse.org.