Friday, December 17, 2004

Feel Good Friday

As is typical this time of the year, just when you’re beginning to hate your fellow man, a story comes around that reaffirms your faith in humanity. Must be an evolutionary failsafe to keep us all from blowing one another up in a pique of disgust once and for all.

Have you seen the cheesy ABC show called “Extreme Home Makeover”? Where they take one “deserving” family who have fallen on hard financial times and totally demolish the old house and build them a new one, all in the course of a week? I tend to just watch the intro and the finale to avoid the 50 minute hankyfest that comes between. The whole time thinking ‘Damn – wonder how many limbs I’d have to lose to get someone to totally remodel my house!’.

Well, we’ve got a little local version of the same dynamic going on in my neck of the woods. This summer a local good samaritan and father of three was paralyzed in the process of helping local police grab some bad guys. When the holidays came around, the local police and fire dept. wanted to help the family as much as they could. They finally got the family to agree to let them help remodel a bathroom to make it more wheelchair accessible. Other people heard about the project, thanks to the tireless efforts and free publicity provided by a local radio station . That’s when things began to snowball. Building materials suppliers, constructions companies and contractors heard about it and all began donating supplies and skilled labor. What was just supposed to be a single bathroom remodel has turned into a project where the entire house is now wheelchair accessible. It hasn’t been totally destroyed and rebuilt, but it’s apparently coming very close. They'll get new cabinets, fireplace, appliances, furniture, landscaping, you name it! Dozens of local community volunteers have all pitched in every after working their regular day jobs to make it all happen.

Unlike the ABC original show, it’s taken a bit longer than one week to get it done, but the family is supposed to get their house back on Monday. Local news will be all over the story, and I have a hunch the national news as well. It would be nice if our little community could improve it's image a bit. Before this, our most recent claim to fame was producing the notorious ice skating thug, Tonya Harding.

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