Boys & Girls Club of Dane County to give free home makeover to great grandmother of Anisa Scott

MADISON, Wis. — For 22 years, Irene Alexander has lived in her home on Madison’s east side with her husband and grandkids. But this year brings many new changes for her, many of which are rooted in tremendous loss.

“My nephew was killed in a car accident,” Alexander said. “That was in July. In August, my Anisa was shot. Sept. 7 on Labor Day, I lost my brother. Nov. 9 my husband passed. It’s very hard to talk about this. I’ve lost relatives in the past but Anisa, that was one of the most horrific things that could have happened to us.”

Alexander’s great granddaughter Anisa Scott died in August from a gunshot wound.

When Boys and Girls Club CEO Michael Johnson heard about all that has happened this year in Alexander’s life, he stepped up to try to provide her with some level of comfort.

“Home is where the heart is at,” Johnson said.  “She has a lot of memories in this home. She’s been in this place a long time. I just want her to be able to come home and be comfortable.”

Johnson is gathering up volunteers to give Alexander a complete home makeover for free. Johnson estimates the project will cost more than $40,000 to complete. His goal is to finish it in 11 days and 11 minutes in honor of Anisa Scott who died on August 13 at 11:11 a.m.

Project manager Dan Hawk, owner of ACME Home Services, is in charge of redoing the inside of the home.

“This house has had a lot of people come through it,” Hawk said. “She’s helped a lot of people in our community and it’s just time to give back.”

Target Volunteer Coordinator: We heard about your holiday home make over for the grandmother you are looking to help. …

Posted by Michael Johnson on Monday, 30 November 2020

The project has gained a lot of attention on social media through Johnson’s posts. Target’s corporate office heard about the project and offered teams of people from every store in Madison to come out and contribute items to the home. Steve Zinoni, the general manager of the Madison Concourse Hotel, offered to house the family for the full 11 days in their governor’s suite and provide all their meals.

“We were happy to do it,” Zinoni said. “We’re not busy now as a hotel. It was easy for us to do and something we really wanted to be a part of.”

Alexander said this project “means so much. I can’t believe it. So many generous people are willing to help us.”

When the project is done, Alexander said it will be a bittersweet feeling knowing that the people she loves most will never be able to see her new home. But, she said she at least finds some comfort in knowing their memories will still live in the home forever.

“I’ve been down for so long. This will give us something to help lift us up. It’s more than I could ask for. It really is.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County is still looking for volunteers to help with the project. If you are able to offer furniture, household items or your time, please contact the Boys & Girls Club here.