Shannan McCawley and her eight children can't catch a break.
Faulty wiring sparked a blaze that destroyed their three-story home at 1141 N.Y. on June 12. Damage was estimated at $81,000 for the building and $25,000 for the contents.
The home was uninsured and the family lost everything - shoes, clothes, appliances, beds, photographs.
Things were looking up when Shannan was able to use monetary donations to rent a three-bedroom mobile home while working to clean up and rebuild the home that she grew up in, which her late mother, Shirley McCawley, fought so hard to pay for.
But 11 days ago, those cleanup efforts were hindered by injuries that Shannan and her 17-year-old son, Dominicke, received while removing debris from their home. Shannan slipped and fell down a flight of 14 stairs while helping carry a trash can of plaster weighing about 60 pounds. While recovering at home that same day, she received a phone call informing her that Dominicke had been rushed to the emergency room. Glass had fallen out of a broken window that he was trying to remove and cut his ankle, leaving a 3-inch gash that required stitches.
"That was when I was like, 'I can't do this,' " Shannan said with a sigh. "It's just been crazy - really crazy. I am starting to feel like we are not going to get back home, and I am really at a loss right now."
But it looks like this family's much-needed break may arrive Saturday. The east Lawrence neighborhood is having a workday, beginning at 8 a.m., to help the family finish cleaning. Neighbor Dawn Hawkins is spearheading the project, and she encourages anyone with some spare time to help. She suggested volunteers wear sturdy shoes and gloves. Refreshments and masks will be provided.
"They are always helping other people, so I would like to see some of that coming back to them," she said.
How to help
The Eastside People's Market, 409 E. 12th St., is accepting monetary and material donations for the McCawley family.
Douglas County Bank also is accepting monetary donations at any of its Lawrence branch locations.
Cottin's Hardware & Rental, 1832 Mass., is accepting monetary donations that can be credited to an account for supplies.
Join the workday set to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at the McCawley home, 1141 N.Y.
Volunteers are asked to wear gloves and sturdy shoes. Refreshments and masks will be provided.
If you have items to donate, e-mail Shannan McCawley at email@example.com.