By ALBERTO ORSO
When “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” invited “Good Morning America” to be a part of their biggest build ever in Joplin, Missouri — 7 homes in 7 days, with more than 10,000 volunteers — we got down here right away.
“GMA’s” Sam Champion kicked off the week long effort with a live door knock at the Howard family’s rented home. Like all the families who are part of this special 200th episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” the Howards lost their home in the devastating tornado that hit Joplin in May 2011.
Now, five months later, the city is rebuilding, slowly. Having “GMA” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” on the ground in Joplin to help with the recovery effort has meant everything to the people here.
The men pictured have come from four different states (left to right: Oregon, Louisiana, Missouri, California) and are all here as volunteers on their own dime. For them, this has been a life-altering experience. Eric Greene from Ore., says, “When I heard that some of these families lost children, I just had to come and help out. The experience has changed my life forever.”
Along with the guys giving their three words, we are with them too, rebuilding Joplin together!
The “GMA” team has been on the ground all week, following the action, talking to the designers who are changing the lives of these families, one house at a time. Significantly, all the plans for these seven new homes will be available for free, to anyone in Joplin who wants to rebuild. An incredible boon to locals since designing a home can cost many thousands of dollars.
Every home will reflect the family, their needs and hobbies. This street is the start of a new community, a new front porch on every home. On Wednesday, “GMA” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” will reveal to the Howard family and to the rest of America a new home and a start a new day in Joplin.