Soldier's family needs your help

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LINDALE, TX (KLTV) - Anthony Tipps Jr, his wife Sharla, and their three little girls were visiting family on August 27th when their home mysteriously went up in flames. Everything was destroyed in the blaze. What makes it even harder is that Anthony deployed to Iraq Wednesday morning, leaving his wife and little girls to start rebuilding their lives without him for a year.

"We lost everything," said Sharla.

Five-year-old Summer, six-year-old Tera, and 11-year-old Tessa, dug through ash and rubble, finding a few familiar things. Summer was excited to find her Bible.

"It's a church Bible I had," said Summer.

Of course, many sentimental items can never be replaced.

"I miss all the stuff that I made for my mom," said Tessa. "When I was in second grade, I made her this butterfly with my hand prints."

"[I miss the] pictures of my kids," said Sharla. "Stuff that my grandmother had given me."

They had homeowners insurance but none of the contents were covered, and with Anthony serving our country in Iraq this next year the girls could really use your donations.

"Two was inside and got burnt so I have to buy new kneepads," said Summer.

"Toys cause it's something I can't afford to replace because the necessities are important," said Sharla.

She says the girls have been extremely resilient, considering all they've been through. Their grandpa just passed away, they lost their home, and now their dad is on his way to Iraq. Sharla says there's no way they could get through this, if it wasn't for their church family, community support and faith.

"What's getting me through this is it's all God," said Sharla.

You can give monetary donations to any Southside Bank location. It's under "The Anthony and Sharla Tipps Fire Tragedy Fund." Also, if you have toys or clothes to give, you can take those to the National Guard Armory in Tyler starting next week.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.