Community helps to rebuild Georgetown family’s home damaged by February storm

Williamson County

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Bill and Lillian Black are, by all accounts, fiercely generous people.

The Georgetown couple, who are now in their late 70s, have eight adopted children with disabilities on top of four of their own. Three of those children, now adults, still live at home. One is wheelchair-bound.

The Blacks have also taken in and cared for numerous family members in need — recently including both of their mothers before they passed. They did it despite constant struggles with their own personal health. Bill is fighting cancer. Lillian recently had a heart attack.

To care for all of those people and themselves, the Blacks relied heavily on the shelter and space their home in Georgetown provided. Then in February, Winter Storm Uri took it away.

“Everything just came crashing down,” Lillian described.

Since that storm, the Blacks have been without running water. Add to that a massive hole in the roof and black mold, the Blacks were living a personal nightmare in their own home. That is, until karma kicked in.

When Emily and Chris Hamilton heard about conditions in the Black’s home, they knew something needed to be done.

“We heard back after the storm that their water wasn’t working. My mom was bringing John, the boy in the wheelchair over to shower,” Emily said. “A couple weeks went by, and I said ‘hey, mom did they ever get their water fixed?’ And she said ‘no.’ I was like that’s not okay.”

Both Emily and Chris work in construction; they also have a band. They decided to use both of those skills to help the Blacks out.

Using their construction knowledge, they starting reaching out to contractors to help fix the house, find storage and even build accessible bunkbeds inside a trailer, where the family will be staying while the work on their home is done. Then, they used their music skills to host fundraisers in conjunction with the Georgetown Beard Club.

“The scope just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” Rob Kiddie, president of the Georgetown Beard Club, said.

Family sits in circle
Volunteers sit around the Black family, talking about some of the items they’ve moved into a temporary storage unit while they do work on the Blacks’ home, which was severely damaged by Winter Storm Uri (KXAN photo/Grace Reader)

The community also caught wind of the project and has stepped in to help. They’re doing yardwork, helping move the family’s items and making donations.

So many members of the community have shown interest in the project, the Hamiltons set up a Facebook page so people can follow along. They’ve named the page ‘Unanswered Prayers.’

While a huge portion of the project has been covered by local companies donating their time and supplies, or by community members offering to help out, they’re far from done.

“We’re trying to give them the best opportunity to live the best life that they possibly can. That is the overall goal,” Chris said.

How you can help

On Saturday, July 31, the group is hosting a fundraiser at Rentsh Brewery in Georgetown from 6 to 9 p.m. You can also donate to a GoFundMe set up for Bill and Lillian Black or donate through the Georgetown Beard Club.

While many companies have already stepped in to help this family, like Bowen Electric and Prime Wall Systems, the project is still in need of help providing a roof and windows for the new home.

If you are a company looking to get involved in this project, you’re asked to reach out to the following people:

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