Monday, February 1, 2010
In case you managed to not turn on the TV or radio during Ice Storm 2010, you might have missed that Tulsa is playing host to the crew of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Thanks to the show and its local partners, including Simmons Homes of Owasso, the Starkweather family of 1124 S. Indianapolis Ave. in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will soon have a new place to call home.
The door knock came Thursday morning. The Starkweathers were, of course and rather by design, surprised. I mean, how often do people show up at our front door to inform us that they are not only going to demolish our house, but they're also building a brand-new one that will better accommodate the special needs of your individual family?
It's magical, that door knock. Lives change within a matter of seconds.
As of this morning, the Extreme team, made up largely of local volunteers (you guys rock!), was painting the new home's interior, installing kitchen cabinetry and preparing to pour a new driveway.
As in, since late last week and in spite of the snow and ice that rained from the skies Thursday and Friday, this crew has demolished and rebuilt this house. An entire home. That I can't wrap my mind around this feat of human endurance and compassion doesn't change that it happened.
Volunteers will continue to work through Wednesday, when the big truck will be moved and the completed home will be unveiled to the Starkweather family. The length of time it will have taken to complete the build should come in at just under 100 hours. Amazing.
The Starkweather family was nominated for the show by Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oklahoma. At five weeks old, the youngest member of the Starkweather family, Ethan, now 9, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that affects his muscle tone. Plus, he feels constant hunger. This precious young man requires his parents' constant, 24-hour care.
The care of healthy children is challenging enough. It's easy to understand why the house fell into disrepair.
Ethan is a Make-A-Wish ambassador these days. Thanks to MAWFO, he went to Disney World last year. Now he helps to raise money to grant the wishes of other children.
Oh, my heart. Those Make-A-Wish children, they are dream makers.
Demolition of the Starkweather home began over the weekend, ice-encrusted though it was. A mere two days from now, on Feb. 3, Ethan and his family will see their new home for the first time.
The hour-long episode of Extreme Makeover starring the Starkweather family will air in early March.
How You Can Help
Even if you can't be around to help build the house, you can still be part of the magic. The creators of Extreme Makeover are hosting a community-wide food drive to benefit the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. The drive will also benefit Standing in the Gap, an Owasso-based food pantry.
Simply bring non-perishable food items - it matters not how much, because when there's a 40-percent increase in the number of people in Eastern Oklahoma in need of food assistance, every little bit counts - to the Extreme Makeover staging area at the Expo Square Pavilion, 17th and Louisville. The drop-off is open 7am to 8pm. That leaves plenty of time before and after work to swing by the fairgrounds to make a donation.
If the Pavilion is still out of your way, food donations for this program are accepted at all Tulsa, Bartlesville and Owasso Starbucks locations. And we all know how practically everyone is within sniffing distance of a Starbucks.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in Tulsa Blogs
Want to know more than you can find in the papers and on TV about how the build is going? Read on.
In Case You Didn't Know, by @ajsouthern
How it Was, by @ajsouthern
Excitement in My World, by @tulsadetails
Extreme, Hunkered Down and Ready, by @franbevel
Extremes in Tulsa, by Laurel at Thoughts from a Route 66 Business Owner
So. Will you be watching on Feb. 3 for the revealing of the new Starkweather home?
Photos by Walt Beazley.