Dirk “Pete” Buchmann, the Wilmington homeless man whose story has gained world-wide exposure, received gifts today that even a month ago would have seemed unimaginable. Pete received the keys to a fully-furnished apartment (reuniting Pete with his dog), keys to a new truck, and a check for $32,000 — all in an effort to give Pete and his dog Buster a fresh start.
Down on his luck, Pete dropped his dog off at Faithful Friends Animal Society a few months ago, while Pete checked into the Sunday Breakfast Mission. Pete walked 5 miles every day to visit Buster at the no-kill animal shelter, where he eventually landed a part-time job.
The story of Pete’s devotion to his pet and his personal hardship gained the attention of the media, local businesses and well wishers, including Donna Vanderheuvel, who started a GoFundMe.com page, which has generated more than $32,000 in donations for Pete. Donna has written 700 individual e-mails of thanks to the many donors world-wide, and she still has 300 more to write. Pete also received other gifts today:
- DAA & Apartment Angels Program – a 6-month rent-free apartment
- Pettinaro Construction – Pete’s choice of new furniture for his apartment
- The Kenny Family Foundation – a $500 ShopRite gift card
- Wayman Fire Protection – a full-time job as an assistant inspector
- Mary Beth Cichocki – a Mazda truck
The outpouring of support was a lot for this once homeless man to manage. So Faithful Friends assigned one of their volunteers to assist Pete with managing the media and donations. Pete told Town Square Delaware that the past few weeks have felt like a dream. “This is a life-chaning event for Pete,” said Faithful Friends Executive Director Jane Pierantozzi. “We are so happy Pete and his dog Buster can be reunited. This story makes this a holiday filled with hope for a bright future.”