By Chris Wright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- A family that lost everything to a tornado last week will get a new home. The Bookers were left homeless after a twister tore through their Osage County house. On Monday, a Tulsa radio station urged its listeners to contribute what they could. The goal was to raise $20,000 for the Bookers. They ended up raising more than twice that amount.
"We just don't know where to begin thanking everybody, but we're going to make it," said Becky Booker.
What a difference a week makes. When an EF-0 twister rolled through Prue last week it leveled the Booker home. Randy, Becky, and their 14-year-old son, Stephen, had no place to go, and they've been living in a Tulsa motel. But, they won't be staying long.
"Unbelievable, we can't thank you all enough. It's just, right here in the heart," said Randy Booker.
KVOO's morning radio show hosts organized a Pay It Forward fundraiser for the Bookers. A local construction company was willing to build a new mobile home at cost if the station could raise $20,000.
Listeners of 98.5 FM gave that, and then some. KVOO says they donated nearly $50,000. That's enough for the home, furnishings, and even a new vehicle.
"I never dreamed we have to have the help we've had, never dreamed it. It's been amazing what people have done," said Becky Booker.
There was more good news Tuesday. During an interview with The News On 6, Randy received a call telling him the house will be ready by next Sunday. Also, before the Bookers lost their home, Randy lost his job, and his unemployment benefits had run out. But, ever since people have heard about his plight, the offers have started rolling in.
"We've been struggling. But, thanks to everybody out there, we don't have to struggle so hard," said Randy Booker.
The Bookers say they've been blessed with a special opportunity, and they plan to make the most of it.
"Life has given us another chance the way I look at it, and we're going to go full blast at it," said Randy Booker.
The Bookers say after the ordeal they've endured, more than anything, they are looking forward to hopefully getting back to their normal lives.
11/09/2008 Radio Station Paying It Forward