Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Tracy Shaw, A Father-Daughter Story

William Shaw 1949-2015

Tracy Shaw: A Father-Daughter Story

Tracy Shaw lost her father, U.S.Army Veteran William Shaw, unexpectedly in December 2015. Heartbroken, she wanted to do something in his honor for other veterans, something that would have meant a lot to him.

Tracy and her husband got together with Mike Merrill, Volunteers Of America's program manager for Veterans Services. They learned about the Huot House which provides transitional housing and supportive services for homeless male and female vets, and Veteran's Career House, similar to Huot House for men only. Tracy and her husband were very inspired by the support our programs offer to veterans.

"Mike's kindness and compassion were greatly appreciated during the time of grieving my beloved father." Tracy told us, "I'm truly grateful to Mike, Ken, Brian and the Huot House for making a difference for Veterans and the families that love them."

Tracy talked about her father's life and why it was important to her to do something enduring in her father's name to support veterans' programs.

"My father William Shaw was a disabled Vietnam Veteran, serving in the U. S. Army. I was raised as an only child by a Vietnam Veteran which came with many challenges. He had all the typical struggles associated with PTSD and they profoundly affected my family. My parents married and divorced (each other) twice during my childhood. He became a truck driver and worked for the U.S. Postal Service. He played a mean game of Cribbage.

"In my adult years, my father and I grew very close. He became my friend and constant support system. We shared weekly brunch dates and Saturday evening dinners. We had much to share and learn from each other. He had a contagious laughter, and larger than life personality."

In May, family and friends gathered to celebrate William's life. (click here to read her words).

Tracy sent along this picture from May 2015 of her father on his 66th birthday with Tracy, her two daughters and grandchildren. "My father was well loved by my two daughters and their five children," she told us, "Not a day goes by without tears for him."

Inspired by his love for riding his Harley, Tracy and her father's dear friend Don Cote organized a benefit motorcycle ride. They partnered with the American Legion Post in Springvale and the Lafayette Social Club in Sanford and held "Enjoy the Ride" in June. They raised $4,000 which was shared between Volunteers of America's Huot House and the Travis Mills Foundation.

Thank you, Tracy, and so many other donors for your much needed support, your compassion, your stories and your commitment to standing by our veterans, especially in times of need.

Substantial donations like Tracy's go a long way towards helping veterans transition all the way home by providing them with home furnishings, personal items and employment-appropriate clothing for independent community life.

To donate financial support and support our programs, please donate here

In the comments section, type "Veterans." Or if you would like to donate "in kind" items (click here for an enlarged version of the wish list) from the transition list, contact our Veterans Services Programs at 207-571-3359