When Devyn Robinson left home for Hermon High School on Tuesday morning, there was an empty concrete slab on the lot in Carmel where three generations of her family have lived.
The 17-year-old junior arrived home that afternoon to find that the new trailer she and her sister, Jordyn Robinson, 19, had expected to be delivered a couple of weeks from now was already in place.
“It looks a lot bigger than it did in the pictures,” Devyn said. “I didn’t think it would be here for another week or two.”
The new trailer for the girls who lost both their parents within the past nine months was the main contribution from an outpouring of community support for the girls since their mother’s death.
Jordyn said sounds of the new trailer arriving awakened her Tuesday morning. At first, she wasn’t sure whether she was dreaming.
“This is going to give us a fresh start. I wish we could move in tonight,” Devyn said.
It will be another two or three weeks before the utilities are connected and the sisters can move in.
They lost their father, Joseph, in September. Their mother, Lee Ann, died in January, just a few days after she was diagnosed with cancer. Both were just 55.
All the young women wanted was to continue living in the only home they’d ever known in Carmel. But the 1978 trailer they’d shared with their parents needed a new roof and other repairs. So residents in Carmel, Hermon and beyond rallied to help them remain there.
It started with a GoFundMe page set up by Hermon Town Councilor Steve Thomas and snowballed from there. Shortly after Thomas set up the page, a local businessman stepped up and offered to buy the girls a new mobile home to replace their aging trailer.
Billy and Robina Hartt of Carmel, whose twin sons grew up with Jordyn, purchased the new two-bedroom, two-bathroom mobile home.
“They went to school together starting in pre-K, so we knew their parents too,” Billy Hartt, who owned the Bangor trucking company Hartt Transportation until selling it to a Canadian company at the end of 2021, said in January.
The Hartt family was there to greet Devyn on Tuesday.
“This was money well spent,” Billy Hartt said. “It is amazing that our small community has shown such compassion and love. Now, they can go on and face this tragedy without having to worry about having a roof over their heads.”
After the Bangor Daily News published a story about the teen sisters’ dilemma in late January, Thomas said he was inundated with offers of help for the Robinsons.
“A lot of people have come forward to help out or make donations anonymously,” Thomas said Tuesday.
Josh Whitcomb, owner of Hometown Heat Pumps in Burnham, is one person who came forward. He is installing a heat pump for the trailer. Whitcomb is one of more than 15 individuals and businesses that have donated materials and labor to prepare the land for the new trailer and connect it to utilities.
“I’ve cried a couple of times telling their story,” he said Tuesday. “Every couple I know has that conversation about what to do if we die while our kids aren’t yet adults.”
To be involved in the project with so many others offering to help out has been “humbling and inspiring” in a “bad situation,” Whitcomb said.
“With all the bad news everywhere, people really need this kind of good news,” he said.
Thomas said Tuesday that the Robinsons still need someone to donate the lumber and labor to install front steps and build a back deck for the trailer.
People with those kinds of skills may call Thomas at 207-735-8977.