ETX community renovates home for widow in 3 days: 'I wish he was - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX community renovates home for widow in 3 days: 'I wish he was here to see it'


An East Texas community was brought together to help a widow renovate her home.

For years, the couple had tried to fix the house before the husband became ill.

He died in May of this year and members of the Mineola community and local business owners surprised the wife with a new home.

"Everyday I get up and walk around the house and cry because I can't believe all these people took this much time and real hard work to do it," said new homeowner Belinda Hazelwood.

In just one weekend, the house was completely transformed.


For years Belinda and her husband tried to renovate the home; then he became ill.

"The house was just going down, and neither one of us was physically able to fix the house," said Belinda. 

A family friend held a softball tournament to raise money for the project.


"We easily raised $6,000 and all of it was put towards the house," said family friend Randi Poe. "After talking to people in the community and local businesses, everybody just started saying they would help and it just blew up and it became a lot bigger than what I imagined."

All of this was a complete surprise.

"We took her away to Beavers Bend so that the people could come and that way it would be a surprise and she wouldn't know anything about it for the big reveal," said Tammy Turner, Belinda's daughter.

"It was great. She was shocked. It was priceless to see her so happy because she's gone through a lot with losing her husband," said Tammy. "Everyone doesn't know how much this has touched her. I've seen her just smile more than I've seen in so many months."

One of Belinda's favorite parts are the cowboy boot flower pots.

"The boots make me think of Bubba, my husband. He always wore his cowboy boots," said Belinda.

It's something Belinda says she will be forever grateful for.

"I just pray he can look down and see how many people loved him and did all this for me," said Belinda. "A lot of them did it because they loved him. I just wish he could be here to share it with me."

The next part of their project will be replacing the roof, which has already been donated.

To see a slideshow of the renovations that took place, click here.

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