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Community rallies around family after house fire

The LOU Community is rallying around the family of Earl Shaw and Bettye Herron after they lost their home to a fire on Tuesday afternoon.

Shaw, a maintenance specialist for Oxford School District, and Herron, a staff member at the Kappa Delta house at Ole Miss, lived in the home with three children; two boys ages 16 and 18 and one girl, age 16. According to a statement from OSD, the home – including all of the family’s belongings – was a total loss. 

After word got out about the fire, community members began collecting clothes and shoes for the family. Shaw is an Oxford High School graduate and has been employed with OSD since 1993. According to OSD superintendent Brian Harvey, the outpouring of support he’s seen reflects how loved and respected Shaw and Herron are in the community.

“Mr. Shaw’s family’s loss is terrible and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family,” Harvey said. “Our school community has always supported individuals in their time of need, and it is comforting to know that our community will continue to do so. We should all be thankful that we call Oxford home.”

In addition to clothing donations, members of the LOU community also began fundraising for the family. A GoFundMe campaign was started by Kappa Delta member Eliza Williams, with a goal of $15,000.

At press time, the campaign had raised $11,232 in 20 hours – more than $550 per hour.  

Heather Lenard, Public Information Officer for the district, said the response to this tragedy has been “tremendous.”

“We have received a tremendous response today from our school district and community,” Lenard said. “It is obvious he is loved by many people on all of our campuses. We are so thankful for the outpouring of support for his family.”

The Shaw-Herron family is still in need of clothing and basic needs items, such as towels and toiletries. Those who would like to donate can bring their items to the OSD Bus Shop at 26 County Road 1032.

For monetary donations, please visit the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/bettye-herron-family.

Clothing sizes for the family are:

  • Boys: shoe sizes 10.5-11, and 9; shirts, medium and large; pants, 36×34 and 33×32
  • Girl: shoe size 7.5; shirts, medium; pants, size 10
  • Herron: shoe size 7.5; shirts, large; pants, 12-14 
  • Shaw: shoe size 10.5; shirts, 2XL; pants, 36×34