January 24, 2010 07:58 PM by Candace Young
Tonight on ABC, Ty Pennington and Extreme Makeover Home Edition will bring us a special two-hour episode from Buffalo, New York. A community activist named Eric, and recording artist Ashanti, join the Design Team on the bus as they head out to help rebuild the home of the Powell family. A Jamaican immigrant, Dolores Powell brought her four young children to New York in search of a better life. She still helps take care of relatives back in Jamaica, as well as trying to do work on her own fixer-upper, all while volunteering tirelessly within her community. Tonight, it’s like Extreme Makeover Neighborhood Edition, as Ty and the team help not only the Powell’s, but many others in the community! Read on for highlights…
Door Knock Day
Dolores Powell is completely overwhelmed by the sight of Ty Pennington and the Design Team, as well as Eric, her activist friend. Ty announces that they are going to give them a good house to live in, and in the meantime, the Powell’s are going to Disney World in Orlando!
Ty and Michael take a look through the house, where Dolores’s older son tells them he would like to be a pro football player, but realizes the importance of having an education. Michael compliments his good attitude. The younger son tells Eduardo he wants to be an architect when he grows up – so he can build things for his mom! Ty learns that Dolores cannot take a hot bath – only cold – and the the foundation of the house is archaic and crumbling. Dolores’s oldest daughter tells Paige she would like to be a lawyer, her sister wants to be an obstetrician.
The pavement literally shakes with the pounding feet of thousands of volunteers. The Powell family also meets David Stapleton of David Homes, who will be doing the rebuild.
The team is doing something a little different tonight – a deconstruction rather than a demolition. They will save as many components of the house as feasible for re-use in the community. In effect, bits and pieces of the Powell home will be all through the neighborhood. Watching via laptop, Dolores is thrilled.
By day three, the house is going up and the ideas for the Powell family members’ bedrooms are underway. Eric the activist is overseeing the creation of a community garden. Ty notes that there are a lot of condemned homes and vacant lots in the area – they would like to help this neighborhood believe in itself again. Eduardo gets to know Marguerita, the Powell’s neighbor, and realizes that she needs help right away. Michael and Paige also find neighbors who require a helping hand – the people are filled with gratitude at the offer of assistance.
Thousands of volunteers have gathered to assist in a community revitalization project consisting of 35 identified areas of improvement. Michael and Eduardo attend the volunteer meeting. Eric the activist notes that this is proof that a small group of committed individuals can change the world!
Ashanti arrives to help lend a hand to the Buffalo community project. Paige grabs her to help out with the daughters’ room design. Ashanti relates some tales of her father growing up with very little in Brooklyn – having holes in his shoes, and shoes that were too small.
Eduardo and Michael visit Buffalo Reuse to find pieces to use in the neighborhood projects. It’s absolutely amazing the progress they have made on Dolores’s house by day four! Ashanti checks out a small model home for the would-be architect’s room, and notes how important it is to motivate children.
Ty contacts the Powell family in Walt Disney World and tells them it’s time to open their gift box – it’s shoes, and Ty remarks that he can’t wait until Dolores finds out what the shoes are all about! It turns out that they represent a shoe drive that will provide footwear for thousands of people in need!
Ashanti and Michael walk the neighborhood and take in all of the projects getting done – it’s incredible! A gazebo is going up, roofs are being reshingled, and houses are getting new paint jobs! Ty once again contacts the Powell family to let them in on all the improvements happening in the community! Jim, Dolore’s neighbor, assures her that he appreciates the work being done on his home, and that there is a commitment to pay it forward for a long time to come!
Finally it’s time to move in the furniture – the Buffalo Bills turn up to help carry the load! Michael takes Ashanti to surprise the family who has been brought back early. The Powell daughters go weak at the knees to be hugging Ashanti in the airport! Ashanti is moved by the experience. The eldest son, Joel, has a football game – they all go to cheer him on!
Move That Bus!
The Powell family marvels at all the freshly painted houses in the neighborhood as they draw up in their limo. Joel notes that he’s never seen this much positivity in this community. Ty greets them and asks if their ready – they are! The bus moves and the family cheers, exclaims, and jump up and down at the sight of their new home! Ashanti gets tears in her eyes – so do I! The Powell’s thank the builders and Ashanti, who remarks that a life is forever changed.
Dolores and her family go in to check out the new house. They go wild over one feature after another – including the stocked fridge! Ty comes in to show them something special – a video of the school Dolores used t go to in Jamaica – and all of the children are receiving shoes! Dolores weeps. Ty explains that shoes went to children all over Jamaica – all due to the story of Dolores sending back her first US paycheck to buy shoes for her relatives!
Debbie, age 15, is screaming over her music-themed room, Anschel, the young, would-be architect is stunned by his bedroom and model home, Gabby, age 16, is overwhelmed by her warm, pretty, book-themed room, and Joel is blown away by his new workout area and football room – he says it’s off the chain! Ty shows him the new video security system! Dolores gets to see her sanctuary next. Filled with butterflies, and containing her own bed, she goes particularly wild over her own ensuite washroom! She cries, and wishes her mama was there to see this.
Ty next takes the family outside to walk through the neighborhood to see all of the community improvements. Dolores says they can hold their head up with pride. She exclaims over the new community garden. Dave the builder tells Dolores that her children’s college educations have been donated – and there is a scholarship for her too if she’d like to go! Dolores tells all those gathered that there is hope in the community tonight!
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Photos Courtesy: ABC, BuffaloNews, Buffalorising, WKBW