An East Texas community is coming together to build a dream home for one of their own. In January, Norma Freeman of Mineola lost her house, her husband and her son, all in one week. Community members are now trying to give back to the woman who gave them so much.
It's been a month and a half since Norma Freeman has been able to cook or sleep in the home she raised her family in.
"All my memories are here for 50 years," said Norma Freeman, who lost her home in a fire. "This is my home. I was born next door, and this is where I want to be."
On January 28th, around 6:00 a.m., Norma's house started on fire. Inside was her husband, Eddie Freeman, 70.
"My husband had cancer for eight years," said Freeman. "He couldn't walk. He couldn't get up, and I couldn't hear him hollering because his voice is about gone."
Norma says she and her daughter tried to get Eddie out of the house, but the smoke was too thick. When the fire department arrived, it was too late.
"I hate coming in here," said Freeman. "It's hard. It's hard for me to come back in this house." Just a few days after the fire, Norma's son Stanley Freeman, 50, died of a heart attack.
Norma says Stanley had heart problems and couldn't handle the news of his father's death. "It's been awful because I think about my husband and my son everyday," said Freeman.
To give back to the woman that has given them so much, family and friends of Norma put together a video, explaining her story and sent it to the hit show Extreme Makeover.
"The thing that was placed in my heart to do was contact Extreme Home Makeover, just to see if they could try to help her build her dream home. Not that she couldn't afford a home, she could afford to do that, but a dream home to someone who has given so many dreams and aspirations to somebody else," said family friend Janae Holland.
Norma says a dream home built where she and her husband raised their son Stanley, would help her move on.
"It would mean a lot to me to have a new home here," said Freeman. "This is where I want to be." Friends of Norma, say the community has really opened its arms. Churches and businesses have also sent letters to Home Extreme Makeover asking for help. If you would like to send a letter to the show asking them to help Norma Freeman, you can do so by sending it to:
Lock & Key Production
P.O. Box 38670
Los Angeles, Calif. 90038