GoFundMe for fire victims raises over $16,000 and counting

Published 10:30 am Monday, July 16, 2018

A local family is finding their feet again after losing their home to a fire July 10, thanks to the generosity of those in the LOU community.

Earl Shaw and Bettye Herron shared the County Road 181 home with their three children, but the family lost everything in the blaze. According to Lafayette County Fire Coordinator Wes Anderson, the fire began in a bedroom of the home and took firefighters from both Oxford and Lafayette County fire departments to extinguish.

Shaw and Herron are longstanding members of the community; Shaw, an Oxford High School alumnus, has worked for Oxford School District for over 20 years, and Herron has spent four years on staff at the Kappa Delta House at Ole Miss.

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Seeing that the family was in need, members of the LOU community took it upon themselves to collect clothing and monetary donations. One community member, KD chapter president Eliza Williams, said she knew she had to find a way for the members to do their part.

“Sororities have the power to do so much good, so I knew it was up to us to get a fundraiser started,” Williams said. “I had so many members of not only my chapter but others on campus reach out with gift cards, clothes and shoes. It is such a testament to the kind of people Earl and Bettye are.”

Williams originally set a goal of $5,000 for the GoFundMe campaign for the Herron-Shaw family. However, the campaign surpassed that in less than a day. She raised the goal to $15,000, which was met in less than four days. The GoFundMe is still accepting donations, and the current total is approximately $16,296.

Members of the OSD community have also gathered clothing and toiletries for the family. The outpouring of support the family’s received is something Herron said amazes her.

“I’m at a loss for words. Every little bit has helped bring us closer to where we need to be,” Herron said. “I love all of my girls, and try to make them feel like they’re at home away from home all the time. What this has shown me is, I know how much they love me, too.”

Herron said the family has been overwhelmed with donations and kind words in the last week, and their next goal will be rebuilding their home.

“We are going to try to rebuild,” she said. “If we have any contractors or electricians who would be willing to donate their time or services to help us get back into a home of our own, they are more than welcome to contact us.”

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