Central Texas Veteran gets new home


by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN FISHER


Posted on October 24, 2013 at 6:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 7:16 PM

AUSTIN -- A Central Texas veteran and her family are getting a brand new start, thanks to dozens of Home Depot employees who helped build them a home.

Things haven't been easy for Shirley Wright. She's been through two tornadoes in the last seven years. One destroyed her home. 

For more than three years, Wright, 64, her daughter, and two granddaughters have lived in a modified storage shed.

“We have one bed. It's a bunk bed type deal with a full mattress on the bottom and a twin on top,” Wright said. “We've been making do with that. And that's all (we) have room for.”

For years the disabled Army veteran has given back to the community -- giving a food bank vegetables from her garden and rescuing abandoned and abused dogs and horses.

Now her community is giving back to her and her family. A group of Home Depot employees took part in what some call a modern day barn raising.

“It's just phenomenal. It's way bigger than we are,” said Liberty Buildings Owner Don Bebee. He told Home Depot about Wright’s predicament.

“I realized they really needed a bigger house to live in,” he said of their 12 by 24 foot building.

Bebee helped arrange for a new home shell to be brought to her Bertram property.

“Yesterday I burst into tears when I saw it coming down the driveway. It's so wonderful. I'm so blessed,” Wright said.

Over the next few weeks Home Depot employees from across Central Texas will be there installing drywall, flooring, insulation, cabinets, wiring and plumbing. They're also putting up a fence.

“On average we'll have a fluctuation anywhere between 16 to 20 volunteers every single day for the next three weeks,” said Home Depot District Manager Scott Murabito. 

The effort is part of the Home Depot Foundation's third annual Celebration of Service campaign. The foundation provides veterans and their families with a safe place to call home.

“We try to get out to as many veterans homes as we can and really give back to them for what they gave to us,” Murabito said.

Volunteers are working hard to turn the shell of a house into a four bedroom, two bath home. Their goal is to have it completed for the family by November 11th, Veterans Day.

“It's going to be like having a real home. In fact, it is. And we're so grateful for it,” Wright said.

This is just one of hundreds of Home Depot projects happening across the country. 

Wright hopes to have a dedication for the new home once it's finished. She said she’ll also invite everyone in her community.




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