YUBA (CBS13) – Ann Bennett, 82, was struggling with how she could possibly start her life all over again after a fire burned down her Yuba City home.

Now, thanks to a group of strangers on Facebook, she has a lot of reasons to smile again.

“A great big fire and it really just about got me,” said Bennett.

Back in March, a horrible house fire took away all that Bennett ever owned, and left her and her dog Mandy homeless.

“That was the only thing I grabbed of her,” said Bennett.

To Bennett, the photo of Mandy, her only companion for more than 10 years, was the only material thing she had time to save as her home burned to the ground.

“All my clothes were gone, and my closet filled with nice shoes and bags,” said Bennett.

Bennett was left with nothing but the clothes on her back, and that’s when her story caught the attention of Gabrielle Jensen, a woman who has never even met Bennett before. Yet, she felt the need to reach out and help through Facebook.

Within minutes, a flood of responses filled Jensen’s Facebook page.

“It just took off like wildfire,” said Jensen.

Dozens of other people were also eager to express their generosity.

“I said, you’re a good girl. You deserved to be loved and helped,” said Jensen.

She received everything from new clothes to a fully furnished apartment for her and her dog Mandy. Complete strangers even footed the bill for a new set of dentures to replace the ones Bennett lost in the fire.

“Absolute gratitude, I look at Ann and see all the things she’ll get to be able to do with her dog,” said Jensen.

For a woman who doesn’t even know what a social networking site is, she sure is grateful for the simple Facebook post that forever changed her life.

“I’ll never forget it. I hope I can live a few more years to enjoy it,” said Bennett.

Aside from enjoying her new home Bennett says it feels good to remember what it’s like to have family around.


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