SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KTVU) - A family was stunned when they returned to their burned Coffey Park home, and found a sweet surprise in their mailbox.
Amanda Mills, her husband, 3-year-old son, and 1-year-old daughter drove up to their property where their family's home burned to the ground in last fall's Wine Country Fires.
Mills wasn't sure what compelled her to open her mailbox but when she did, she found a rock decorated with a simple message.
The rock had a photo of a home painted on the front. On the back were the words, "There is no place like home. May you be in yours soon!"
Mills said, "I squealed a bit. I think I said something like 'Oh my gosh, it’s so sweet!' And then turned around back to the car and showed my husband! Our hearts were touched! So happy that there are still some people that care, and are spreading such sweet kindness."
Mills said they continue to look for a place to live following the fire. Their family of four along with their two dogs are staying at Mills' husband's parent's house. They are all staying in one bedroom, which Mills says has been hard. "We keep getting denied places, because we have pets, too many people, no 'outside' rental history -but most of the time it’s because the rent market is ridiculously high," she said.
Mills said it's especially hard to see her son desperate to go home. "I hear my son asking to go home almost every day. We live where a daycare is run - and we are grateful - but when your child sees all his friends go home and wants to leave too, it's very heartbreaking. He tells his friends, 'my house blew down,' and that's hard too."
Mills, who grew up in the area, has even had to face the possibility of moving away.
She said, "The whole rock incident has given us hope."