JANUARY 9, 2004 -- Posted at: 10:45pm
JONESBORO, AR - Organizers and volunteers are about a month away from opening what could be the only home of its kind in the United States right here in Jonesboro.
Most of us are familiar with the Ronald McDonald House. It's a place where parents can stay while their children are being treated for medical illnesses. Dyeann's House is a home for kids whose parents are ill.
"Oh she'd love it," explained Mary Shaver. "She was such a good mother and wife."
Mary Shaver is Dyeann's mother. She's honored the house and the project have been named after her daughter.
"When she was sick so many people from the church and where she worked at City, Water and Light were doing so much for her, and she said I just hope I can get better, and can return and do for them," explained Shaver.
Dyeann never got that chance. She died of a brain tumor in 1992 at 32 years of age. Her youngest child, Laura, was just 10 weeks old when her mother got sick.
"They're really nice to do this for other people that are sick and there kids can come here and be here while they're getting treatment," Poe said of her mother's friends and volunteers who organized the project.
Grandparents on both sides of Laura Poe's family lived close by, and were able to help take care of her and her two siblings.
"I realize there's a lot of families this happens to, and I can see where you know the children would need something like this," added Mary Shaver.
The three Jonesboro Lions Clubs are financially supporting Dyeann's House.
It was incorporated September 15, 2003; nine days after Dyeann Poe's birthday.
Dyeann's House President Scott Rennels said, "We're hoping as time goes on that other communities, metropolitan areas around the U.S. will pick up on this idea."
The home can hold up to 30 children whose parents are sick or dying. Nearly 200 volunteers and counselors have offered to help take care of them including Laura Poe.
"We helped move in the furniture and clean and dust, and then when it opens I was gonna help with all the kids too, help babysit," explained Poe.
A house director will be chose in about a week. Children should be ready to call Dyeann's House "home" around February 1st.
"I feel like things will get in place," Shaver said. "We just have to be patient with it and pray about it."
Organizers still need entertainment items for the home, such as a pool table, a television and computers.