Strangers reveal renovation gift for tornado victim

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 7:41 PM

DALLAS - Crews from Operation Blessing International, one of the largest charities in the U.S., raced all day Friday to put in the finishing touches on a home hammered by a tornado more than a week ago.

For two days, they have been putting relief into action by installing a new roof, windows and shutters on the home located on Stage Coach Trail in Dallas. The owner is 77-year-old Lue Verne McClellan.

Chris McKenzie and dozens of volunteers participated in the project.

"It's simple, because I know that one of these days, I'll be 77, barely able to get around, and my house will be falling apart," McKenzie said. "And it's nice to know that someone will actually come out and help when I can't do it myself."

But no one was feeling better than McClellan.

When volunteers revealed the renovations with a cheer of "welcome home," she started to cry. She was speechless for minutes, until she got to the front door of her renovated home.

"I can't hardly find the words to say, because I've never had anything like this happen to me," McClellan said.

She thanked everyone who came to her rescue. The senior didn't have home-owner's insurance, so rebuilding would have been impossible.

A concern swept away by a group of strangers.

"It doesn't matter if I get paid or not," McKenzie said. "I mean, just the fact that someone else is living in good conditions makes me feel better."

It makes McClellan and her family feel better, too.

"I appreciate everything you all have done for me," McClellan said.

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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