SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — They tore down a house Monday in Springfield. Now, as they build a new one, the Extreme Makeover Home Edition crew is trying to tear down bullying for good everywhere. However, both goals require strategy to get the job done.
Despite some difficulty in the building since last night, these men and women are pressing on. If they could only end bullying so quickly – well, that would be better than building an entire city.
“I was bullied when I was young too, because I was real skinny and little, and I was bullied all the time because of that,” Extreme Makeover Home Edition volunteer Melissa York transcended that unfortunate rite she shares with so many peers and fellow volunteers.
It’s top-of-mind to so many, helping tear down and rebuild Sirdeaner Walker’s home, after her 11-year-old son Carl — a victim of relentless bullying at school — committed suicide there in 2009.
Volunteer Stacy Franklin says, “I heard all about the story when her son passed away, and it’s a tragedy, and what she’s doing to make changes in the country is where Extreme Makeover wants to be, is people who are making changes in the world, and that’s what she’s doing.”
What the Makeover mavens are doing, is amplifying the voice of the Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation to end bullying everywhere.
The new house is really a small part of the story. They brought in aussie teen singing sensation Cody Simpson yesterday — he’s a champion against bullying, and they’re launching a web site allowing anyone, anywhere to speak and listen.
“It’s not only going to be a place that they are just going to tell their story, stand together, and have a face. It’s going to be a place that we can educate the community, and hopefully end bullying and just help people be better people,” says Makeover Designer Jillian Harris, who adds that Ty Pennington is challenging everyone involved to put the wrecking ball to bullying.
Harris says, “I wouldn’t be surprised, by the time we get this word out there, everybody sees the show, they see how important it is to this family and to our entire community, I think we’ll be able to hit one million, no problem, hey, two million, three million — it’s all up to you guys.”
Oh, and about the house, Tuesday, a new foundation and floor pour, all after a glitch overnight. “We ran in to a couple of issues last night with the water table, but other than that we’re working on getting back on schedule,” says contractor Nick Riley.
Riley says they’re a half-hour behind which is a lot when your whole time budget is counted in hours and the toughest task of framing is still ahead.”there’s a lot of coordination involved, a lot of people involved, all in a small area.”
Making that happen is a little tough, but with such a good vibe in the air, it seems no task is insurmountable.