A House For Shirley

Dear Beloved family, friends and servants of God,

Imagine heading to work one morning and returning home that afternoon to find you no longer have a place to lay your head and your home is completely destroyed.   This is exactly what happened to me and many others Tuesday, April 3, 2012 in Lancaster, Arlington and Forney TX.

I arose to go serve our children in the community of Lancaster TX and surrounding cities as a teacher as I have for over 26 years just about every morning and that afternoon a tornado had a destructible mission to accomplish.

When I arrived to my non-existent nearly vacuumed away home at 933 Woodcrest there were tangled power lines, jagged edged planks of wood through windows and walls dangling ceiling fans, remnants of what was my home and all of my personal possessions scattered about.  I had to gather as much of myself because it was impossible to step through massive amounts of ruble to gather any of my possessions. It was an emotional and very devastating day as well as the days that followed.  It is very difficult not to relive this devastation because the memory doesn’t vanish. That’s to say the least.

Fortunately by the grace of God, He covered each of these communities and no lives where stolen!  Praise God!  My son was among those that experienced the tornado first-hand, for he was in my home when the tornado hit but again we were very thankful for his life being spared.

My husband passed away in 1996 and the one thing he was always concerned about was ensuring that I had a home to call my own and we were able to accomplish paying off the home some time ago.  Unfortunately I did not have home insurance; therefore a simple call to the insurance company isn’t my reality and I am severely regretful and although this is a tough and humbling lesson to learn I cannot sit and wallow.  In order for my dyer circumstance to change I must ask my community, my friends and family and helpers of mankind for their help so that reaching my goal of having a home again can be a reality for me.

The Mayor and local officials declared the tornado destruction as a state of emergency; however many of us (residents) were confused by what that meant in terms of permanent residence assistance.  Many of the residents including myself thought that perhaps FEMA would get involved and help with rebuild projects as there was much talk among many leading us to believe that there was hope there, however that did not happen. Although there was personal out-pouring of help from my friends and family and local churches and help from the Red Cross and the Delta Dallas Chapter with various items to assist in my current living circumstances and I am forever grateful for the love and support because I could not have made it this far without the more hands-on efforts.

However having your support by donating to the efforts of the “A Home For Shirley” fund will accomplish me being able to occupy and own a home again which would be a dream.

I have worked very hard through-out my life from my teenage years non-stop and I’m certainly not asking for a hand out but a help up as we all need sometime in our life.

This goal requires a tremendous amount of care and your donations will go further than you know.  One-time or recurring donations will be the factors in my dream becoming reality.  I pray that I will be able to count on your donations and support of “A Home For Shirley” and I will follow-up with you in the next few days.  I thank you in advance for your support and donations.


Shirley McLaughlin

Watch CBS Local for recent coverage of A House For Shirley

How to Support A House For Shirley:




Contributions can be sent via US mail to:

P.O. Box 225753,

Dallas, TX 75222.

For questions please call: 469-939-1316