Family without insurance spray paints Venmo account on roof after tornado destroys home


SENECA, S.C. (CNN) — A South Carolina family without home insurance lost everything after a tornado destroyed their home, so they used a can of spray paint to ask for donations.

The house Bill Patterson has spent most of his life in is now unrecognizable thanks to a tornado on April 13.

Powerful winds knocked his home almost 15 feet off its foundation. Patterson and his wife and autistic son hid in a closet as their roof collapsed and their walls caved in. The family is OK, but the house is a total loss.

“Looking at the house, maybe feel sorry for yourself just for a moment, but you have to pick yourself up,” Patterson said. “That is no way to live.”

The Patterson family doesn’t have the insurance to cover any of the damage, so they got creative with a public plea.

“I got up on the roof and wrote my Venmo up there,” Patterson said. “Maybe this will draw some attention to what we’re trying to do.”

In white spray paint, “@Bill-Patterson-71” was written on the roof as an open invitation to all to give to a family in need.

“Everything I am doing revolves around my wife and kids,” Patterson said. “Doing everything I can to rebuild for them and reach out for help.”

The family is staying with a family friend until they can rebuild.


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