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Former School Bus Driver and Community Volunteer Living in Shed After House Fire

Special to the Metro

Tifton, GA – Seventy-two-year-old Junie Mae Wilson of Tifton has been homeless for nearly a year since a fire destroyed her home. Friends are heartbroken as they watch Junie struggle for basic necessities while she lives in a shed on her property. That’s why they’ve turned to Red Basket, a free crowdfunding website, to help Junie raise $20,000 to rebuild what was lost in the fire.

Smoke alarms weren’t even quick enough to alert Junie on September 25, 2014, when a fire broke out in her home. Thankfully the retired school bus driver of 32 years, awoke to the smell of smoke and was able to escape her burning home. Junie lost her house and years of memories in a devastating fire that night.

A series of unfortunate events happened just months prior to the disaster causing Junie to lose her homeowners insurance. The house fire was not covered and there is nothing she can do.

Junie has been living without her home for nearly a year. While living in her shed in the backyard, Junie receives much help from her friends, classmates and church who gave $700 that she used to put electricity in the shed. She also received support from the Red Cross. Since this incident, Junie just wants her home. “Although her house is burnt down and not safe to live in, she continues to give back by volunteering at her local soup kitchen and community center,” said her friend Senoria Henderson.

As days go by, Junie lives in her shed with no running water. She has to go to different places to shower and has a porta potty in her backyard, as well as a dumpster out on her land. She thanks her church community and wonderful friends for helping her get as far as she has. “No one should have to live like this,” Senoria said.

To help Junie rebuild her home, friends are running an online fundraising campaign through Red Basket, a nonprofit crowdfunding website based in Omaha, NE. Every penny donated to Junie will go directly to her to help her recover from this devastating house fire. No fees are charged when giving through Red Basket. To support Junie with your tax deductible donation, visit RedBasket.org/561. The online fundraising campaign is titled “Get Junie Back Home.”

Red Basket is a free crowdfunding website where individuals can share their story, recruit volunteers and raise money for personal emergencies or community improvement projects. Red Basket, a 501c3 public charity, was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska. Red Basket is fully supported by WoodmenLife which covers Red Basket’s administrative costs in their entirety so 100% of donations are directly passed thru to the individual or cause. To learn more about Red Basket, visit Redbasket.org.