EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - For one East Texas couple, the holidays will always have a special meaning associated with a giving spirit.
A gift given two years ago is still a blessing to a Kilgore husband and wife.
For the Pettys, each Christmas is now a celebration of their home in Kilgore. Two years ago they were living in a dilapidated structure on Bagwell Street, their home of 37 years.
"We knew we needed to do work on it, but couldn't afford to," says Dottie Petty.
Her husband said they also couldn't work on the home themselves.
"I was in the hospital with heart problems, so I couldn't do much," says husband Edward Petty.
The roof of the old home was leaking, the walls and floors were rotting, and the home had foundation problems.
On a fixed income, and suffering health problems, the Pettys had no alternatives.
"I would dry clothes at night to help heat the house up," Dottie says.
But the couple's situation was noticed by neighbor and industrial developer Anthony Saccoccio.
"There was a lot of urgency in getting them out of that house they were living in. I noticed that the way they were struggling with some of their health problems and the conditions of the house they were in. They'd been very good neighbors to me so I put on my thinking hat," says Saccoccio.
In December 2015, Saccoccio worked some magic.
"I got with a very understanding banker, and some good people at a title company that are used to unorthodox deals. I found a house and was able to make a straight trade with them," he says.
A trade. The Pettys simply had to accept the gift.
"Well it was kind of a shock," Edward says.
They believe Saccoccio is proof that good is still in this world.
"You don't come across people who do things like this," Dottie says.
"The value isn't the houses, the value is your neighbors," Saccoccio says.
The Pettys own the gift home free and clear.