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NEWS: Oklahoma Wildfires

Gift Moves Mannford Family From Tent To New Home

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An anonymous donor surprised the Law family with this home. An anonymous donor surprised the Law family with this home.
Cody Laws spent his 17th birthday living in a tent. Cody Laws spent his 17th birthday living in a tent.
The tents are packed up, and the family is living in a new home. The tents are packed up, and the family is living in a new home.
MANNFORD, Oklahoma -

Disaster relief is slowly reaching the 423 families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in Creek County. It's been three weeks since wildfires ate up homes, property and livelihoods around Mannford.

For one family, a stranger gave them the best gift of all. 

Cindy Laws has a whole new appreciation for the small things.

"You appreciate flushing the toilet, you appreciate the hot water when you are taking a shower," said Mannford resident Cindy Laws.

"You appreciate cooking on a stove when it only takes 20 minutes to cook bacon versus three hours on a camp stove."

Cindy's family lost their home in the wildfires. They've been living in tents on their Mannford property the past three weeks, straight through the dog days of summer.

"It's a lot funner when you are actually going away camping, but when you are kind of just doing it in your backyard, it takes a whole new perspective on how you are living," Laws said. 

The family didn't have home insurance, so when an anonymous donor gave them this home, Cindy couldn't control her emotions.

"I'm thinking 'are you crazy?' Seriously, I did, that's pretty much what I said. Because seriously who would give someone they don't even know a trailer home?" Laws asked.

8/24/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Calls FEMA Denial Of Wildfire Aid 'Cruel'

The Home Store in Muskogee helped the donor get it.

It's three bedrooms, two baths – with a tub that is Cindy's favorite.

"That about done me in knowing I'm going to get to take a bubble bath again. You know, it's the little things us girls like," she said.

Cindy's son loves his room. Cody celebrated his 17th birthday in a tent.

"We're always giving and not really getting," Cody Laws said. "And I guess God just decided that we needed to be getting something and we got it."

See full coverage of Oklahoma Wildfires.

The Laws still need the water, septic and air conditioner hooked up, but a complete stranger met their biggest need.

"This is like a blessing from God right here," said Mannford resident Cindy Laws.

The home was a private, anonymous donation for the Laws family, but FEMA still needs more people to call and register with them. Call 1-800-621-FEMA and you will be put on the agency's list, even if you have already registered with local churches.

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