Overwhelming Volunteer Response

December 31, 2008 6:20:58 PM PST
It's been a little more than 24 hours since Action News announced Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is building a dream home for a deserving Central Valley family.In that short time, coordinators say the response from volunteers has been overwhelming. Several hundred people have signed up already.

"This is Alisha."

Alisha Anderson is volunteering with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as a volunteer coordinator. She says since the announcement was made on Tuesday morning her phone has been ringing off the hook.

"We've been getting about a hundred an hour during the daytime. We are closing in on about a thousand people wanting to volunteer."

In fact a call came in during our interview. "Oh my gosh, thank you so much."

The caller is yet another volunteer wanting to donate Nextel phones. "Ten will be great!"

Anderson says there seems to be a common thread among the hundreds who have signed up to be volunteers. "A lot of them are saying they've recently been laid off from work, but they want to come out to help."

"Things like T-shirts and hats."

Kirsten Roland is one of them.

"I was recently laid off in November and so I have a lot of spare time on my hands and I just really wanted to give back. It's tough out there for more than just me."

With a sales and marketing background Roland is calling on local businesses asking them to donate. "People are not hesitant. They really are stepping up and volunteering in whatever way they can." This plumbing pipe is just one example of some of the materials being donated by professional volunteers. They say it's going to take a lot of them coming together to make this happen. "I'm going to try and get some of my suppliers to donate materials my vendors to donate materials. We will donate whatever else our time and labor, whatever it takes to get the job done."

John Mastro has worked in the Fresno community for 24 years. With 20 plumbers needed for the project he says now is a good time for people in his field to help.

"There's not a lot going on right now in the valley so we do have time to do this."

Ryan De Young with De Young Properties says they are still looking for skilled and unskilled volunteers. "We have concrete donated, framing tile. All of the different trades have stepped forward."

Now comes the huge task of creating a schedule for more than a thousand volunteers to build the dream home in 106 hours.

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