iN VIDEO: After losing husband, Okanagan woman receives big Christmas surprise | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN VIDEO: After losing husband, Okanagan woman receives big Christmas surprise

Alicia Black with her husband Josiah Black.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Alicia Black
January 03, 2021 - 7:30 AM

A Lake Country woman received such a special gift from a Vancouver influencer that she went into labour shortly after hearing that she will be getting her dream home on wheels.

Alicia Black’s husband Josiah Black died suddenly in June. Shortly afterwards, a GoFundMe was set up to support Alicia, her daughter Payton and her then-unborn baby boy, Winter.

READ MORE: Fundraiser underway for 'Jigsaw' actor whose body was found on Lake Country trail

The GoFundMe was used to purchase an older school bus and in the next two years Alicia planned to fully renovate it to live in with her two children, she said.

Alicia Black's dream bus
Alicia Black's dream bus
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Alicia Black

However, that plan, along with her newborn baby, came sooner than expected with the help of social media 'influencer' Sunny Lenarduzzi, who travelled to the Central Okanagan to deliver the news that the bus would be fully renovated and can be used as an Airbnb.

“It accelerated labour. It was quite surprising, so surprising that it manifested physically,” Alicia laughed.

As actors, Alicia and Josiah were avid travellers and were accustomed to travelling around North America and living in different vans and buses.

It was their dream to redo their bus to live in permanently and give their children a sense of place since their own bedrooms can come with them, she said.

“We grounded ourselves in Lake Country for a while to find ourselves as parents and we started to think about this bus as it was more sustainable for the longer term,” she said.

“That was the dream when he passed, he was working towards that and obviously this has happened way sooner than scheduled because of other people, purely because of the kindness of people and I’m ridiculously grateful,” Alicia said.

Lenarduzzi told Alicia the news Dec. 18. Shortly afterwards, Winter was born.

“I still can’t believe that Sunny flew here from Vancouver to deliver the news. I still can’t believe it happened on the same day my water broke,” she said.

The bus will allow her to move a few times a year, Alicia said, adding that she has family across North America.

Alicia’s best friend Payton Gosselin nominated her for Lenarduzzi’s Hero campaign to help deserving people in need of a boost.

The bus will be ready in the spring and Alicia’s next goal will be to find somewhere to put it.

Her dream is to have her friend Payton, her grandparents, herself, and her parents to create a tiny home community, she said.

“We all kind of want to have a piece of land somewhere outside of Kelowna at some point,” she said. “The next step is finding that perfect piece of land to settle on.”

Alicia will continue with acting in the new year. She does voice acting and commercial acting.

The news still hasn't set in.

"I'm really happy that I bought that bus on faith now," she said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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