In Your Corner: Community pitches in to help fire victims

OKLA. CITY – Just like that, Bettye Copeland’s garage and breezeway were gone!

The rest of her home sustained major smoke damage.

Bettye’s daughter, Cindy Ellis, summed it up best.

“I mean, it’s hard to see what you worked for all your life [to] go down in flames,” she said.

Bettye is the sole provider for her great-grandson, Josh.

When we found out they didn’t have insurance, we jumped into action helping spearhead a grassroots rebuilding effort.

Tim Reardon & non-profit, Rebuilding Together OKC, graciously agreed to coordinate the project.

He said, “People in Oklahoma City step up to help their neighbors, which is what we’re supposed to do.”

  • Several church groups pitched in with the clean-up. 

“We did a lot of framing,” Scott said. “A lot across the garage here was all destroyed.”

Next on tap is wiring the whole house and replacing windows, among other things.

“Once we get the sheet rock back in, then we can really start moving, because volunteers can do a lot of that painting and stuff like that,” Reardon said. “It’s getting the skill people to get this kind of work. That’s the difficult part.”

Bettye is grateful, but forced to deal with ongoing bouts of worry and anxiety.

“There is a lot of days I think this is never going to happen and I do want to give up, but then I know it is.”

This we know. It’s not a question of if, but when she and her great-grandson move back into their home.   

We’re still about three to four months out from finally finishing Bettye’s home.

Rebuilding Together OKC is always accepting cash and material donations.

The organization serves low-income seniors with free home repairs and safety modifications.

Rebuilding Together will host its 10th Annual Construction Derby Sunday, October 6th at “No Motor Speedway” off NW 5th between Walker & Shartel.

The derby is a race of non-motorized derby cars to raise money for Rebuilding Together.