Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Miracle in the Holy Land; Care Home for Women Is Set Up by Caring Couple

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Miracle in the Holy Land; Care Home for Women Is Set Up by Caring Couple

Article excerpt

Byline: Richard Fletcher

ACARING couple have made Christmas wishes come true for women in war-torn Palestine after setting up a specially-designed care home.

Inspired by a dream, Shirley Anderson and her husband Alan have tirelessly worked to raise cash for the centre.

Now the Holy Land will see a modern-day Christmas miracle when young girls, many of whom had lost hope, will move into their brand new, custom-built care home which will change their lives forever.

The million-pound refuge - the Lazarus Home for Girls - was built after the couple, from Seaton Sluice, Northumberland, spearheaded a huge fundraising campaign and made many trips to oversee the work.

It is the first female refuge in Palestine. Shirley and Alan are now aiming to have the home completed early in the New Year which will mean the girls can move in.

Last Christmas The Journal told how the Andersons raised more than pounds 800,000 to form a girls' home that will give children a safe place to live, learn and grow up properly.

The idea came to them after Shirley had a dream about helping children in the Holy Land and, when they looked round an orphanage in Bethany, they decided to help.

They began with temporary accommodation back in 1997 and by last Christmas had the shell of the new building in place. Since then the couple have been fundraising to complete the next stage and since August have sent out pounds 165,000. The five-floor shell now has tiles and windows with shutters and they aim to have the interior finished ready to move in by January or February.

When that happens the girls will get a Christmas party and many of the donors from the North East will travel out to see the work they have made possible.

Shirley said: "The building is massive - I cried when I saw it. September was the first time I'd seen it and the size and scope was mind-boggling. …

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