Rebuilding efforts continue in the areas ravaged by tornados in May. Tuesday marked a milestone as volunteers with Habitat for Humanity put up the walls of the first house for tornado victims in Bethel Acres.
Joel and Bettie Spears never expected they would be the recipients of a Habitat house. Their daughter-in-law surprised them by filing all the paperwork and getting the ball rolling. The Spears' house was hit by the May 19 tornado in Bethel Acres. The force from the wind actually moved the house about eight feet away from its concrete slab. Much of their belongings were lost and the house had to be torn down.
Seeing the dozens of volunteers show up Tuesday was a big step forward in the Spears' recovery.
"They gave us a lot of hope," said Joel Spears. "They just came from everywhere and we just feel very blessed that we had them because we wouldn't have been able to do this without them."
The Spears, who are living out of a camper on their original lot have enjoyed the steady buzz of the construction site next door.
"Once in a while you have to have a little help and I'm not beyond asking for it if I need it," explained Joel.
He and his wife are thankful for the outpouring of support since the tornado. Now, they are looking forward to entertaining their family in the new home. Bettie said she didn't want anything special, just a place to call home.
"Just a comfortable home. Nothing big, nothing fancy. Just something that we can live in."
The camper they have called home for nearly five months was actually donated to them by a man in Tulsa after he heard of the tornado damage.
"It had been given to him because his house burned up in a grass fire. He lived in it until his house got built," said Joel.
The Spears plan on returning the good deed by passing the camper on to someone else who needs a place to live. They plan on doing that around the holidays because their house should be ready to move into by Thanksgiving.