Work is well under way on a community project to aid the family of the late Jeff Allen.

Allen, who worked for Baylor Medical Center at Waxahachie, passed away May 19, leaving behind his wife, Melissa, and five children.

For several weeks now, a corps of people has descended on the Allen’s Waxahachie home to do a full-scale renovation.

Helping to coordinate the effort is Debbie Manning, who is overseeing the effort. On a recent workday, volunteers could be seen throughout the house. Some of the work being done includes a new roof, another room added, kitchen renovation and updated electrical.

It’s all for a good cause, Manning said, noting that the project is a way for the community to give back to a family that has been a contributor to the community in many ways.

Monies and items donated to the cause are tax-deductible due to family friends establishing a nonprofit corporation in Allen’s memory. The Allen Legacy will continue to function even after this project is complete, as organizers intend to use the nonprofit to assist other widows and children as needed.

“It’s through that fund that we are and have assisted Melissa and her children,” Kirk Shelton said. “If, over time, the corporation continues to receive funds, we’ll be able to help other widows and orphaned children. It’s not limited to just her by any means. If funds are donated in the future, we hope to help others, as well.”

Anyone who would like to give to the Allen Legacy can do so by making a donation at any Citizens National Bank branch. All donors will receive a receipt for tax purposes at the end of the year.

The funds being raised at this time are going toward the Allen house renovation, with hopes to pay off the mortgage.

“It’s going well,” Shelton said of the Allen house project. “We’ve had a lot of volunteers and people who have helped. It will be a complete redo of the house.”

Initially, the group set out to repair a leak that was in the house. From there, it “turned into a full-blown makeover,” Shelton said, noting plans are to have the home completed by the latter part of September.

Shelton had met the Allen family when he served as their pastor. From that relationship grew a friendship that has spanned 20 years, he said.

“Jeff was my best friend,” he said.

Contact JoAnn at or 469-517-1452.