A Christmas Eve apartment flood was life-changing for Leneille Moon, a busy entrepreneur and single mom of three school-age children.
Her Alpharetta family lost over 90% of their belongings, then lived in an extended-stay hotel for two months. Moon said the renters’ insurance didn’t come in fast enough or stretch far enough to meet their needs.
Now they are rebuilding their lives with help from the community.
Moon said her family had looked forward to having a good Christmas. She had recently divorced and had moved into an Alpharetta apartment with her children, ages 12 and under. They had adopted a new puppy, and the kids were busy with school and sports. Moon was the leader for her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She also owns a floral business, creating wedding arrangements and flowers for corporate or brand events.
The day their apartment flooded was record-cold, and the Moon family had attended Christmas Eve services at North Point Community Church.
They were notified of the pipe burst, hurried home and saw water coming down the walkway and pooling at their front door.
The building’s sprinkler system broke several floors above them, and water poured into their first-floor apartment. The puppy was in its crate, which was floating.
“When the sprinkler system breaks, that’s a lot of water,” Moon said. “Everything was wet.”
She and the children picked up photos, passports and other valuables and tossed them outside on the deck to try to save them.
Initially, they had nowhere to go, but with help from a friend, they found lodging in an apartment complex in downtown Atlanta.
When they checked on their Alpharetta unit, they found mold and mildew were already growing in the damp, hot space.
“The things that would have been salvageable were now covered with mold,” Moon said.
She moved her family back to Alpharetta into an extended-stay hotel so they could have more space and the children could remain in their schools. They were now considered “homeless” by the school district.
Through it all, Moon tried to keep life as normal as possible. She held her position as a Girl Scout leader and drove her sons to their sporting activities.
“There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my kids, and I wanted them to feel some sort of normalcy,” Moon said. “I still try to find little ways to do fun things with them.”
Moon also kept her business alive by renting another hotel room where she created flower arrangements.
Friends helped with meals, and Girl Scout troop moms bought groceries and after-school snacks for the kids.
And the Moon family also received assistance from an unexpected source — a jewelry store.
During the fall, Moon had arranged for her Girl Scouts to sell cookies in February in front of the Kendra Scott store at Alpharetta’s Avalon. Later, store managers offered support when she told them what had happened to her.
“We try to make sure we are supportive of our community,” said Amanda Young, Atlanta marketing and philanthropic manager for Kendra Scott. “Once Leneille told us what was happening with her family, I just knew there was so much more we could do to support them.”
During Presidents Day weekend, the troop sold their cookies at the Avalon Kendra Scott as planned. For the Moon family, the store designated 20% of sales during a specific time that Saturday and 20% of online sales that Saturday through Monday from shoppers using a discount code.
“I was so taken aback,” Moon said. “I didn’t know they did that for people. They are angels in disguise.”
Young said the betterment of women and children is foundational for the jewelry store chain, which has donated more than $50 million to philanthropic organizations nationwide since 2010.
In addition, its four metro Atlanta stores gave $90,000 to nonprofits and other local needs in 2022.
Top partners are The Atlanta Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation and Angels Among Us, a pet rescue organization.
“We love to hear from our customers what matters to them — whether it’s local families or organizations,” Young said.
The amount of financial aid the Kendra Scott store raised for the Moon family is still unknown.
The family has since moved into a rental house and is trying to recoup all that was lost.
“I’m not a person who likes to ask for help; I feel uncomfortable,” Moon said.
However, plenty of people have asked her how they can help. She tells them to support her business with referrals for corporate events, weddings or other celebrations that need floral arrangements.
“I hire other moms and women. I specifically help them because these women work 9 to 5 during the week but can’t make it on that, so on the weekends, they come to work for me,” Moon said. “I work very hard to get clients so they can take care of their kids because I know how hard it is to make extra money just to make ends meet.”
HOW TO HELP
Those interested can email Leneille Moon at: email@example.com
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