'Extreme Makeover' surprises Lincolnton family
LINCOLNTON -- Frank Hereda, a parishioner in the Diocese of Charlotte and his company, Bellamy Homes, surprised Devonda and James Friday of Lincolnton Sunday morning.
They began the next "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: build by demolishing their house at 105 Moore St. in Lincolnton.
The Fridays are foster parents who recently adopted five children. The makeover team with help of volunteers, including many from Belmont Abbey College, will create a home with enough rooms for the children.
Pictured above: Ty Pennington and some of the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" crew surprise the Friday family at a local tree farm. Devonda and James Friday recently adopted five children and converted the garage into additional bedrooms to house all the children. They will have a new house in time for their first Christmas as a family. Photo by Ken Noblezada
The build continues through Dec. 17. The special, two-hour edition of this show will air next Christmas season on ABC.
Foster parents to more than 30 children, Devonda and James Friday recently adopted a teenage boy and his four siblings, according to a release from Bellamy Homes. Because their house was too small, the Fridays were forced to convert their carport into makeshift bedrooms to make space for the children.
In a week, their new home will be large enough to accommodate everyone. And, it will be built in time for the Fridays to celebrate their first Christmas together as a new family.
Devonda and James Friday didn't think twice when they received a call to provide temporary care to a boy who was being transferred to a group home. But, they had no idea that the call would change their lives. The teenager showed Devonda and James a video of his siblings and begged the Fridays to help keep the five of them together. Before they knew it, Devonda and James were making room for the five youngsters. The adoption was finalized this spring.
A nine-year veteran of the police department, Devonda had repeatedly seen kids being mistreated. The Fridays decided to become foster parents to give kids a fighting chance at a better life and a loving home. In 2005, Devonda was viciously attacked, and it took her a year to heal physically. But, other doors opened as she switched careers, got her college degree and fostered dozens of children over the years with James.
In May 2010, the Fridays met Chris – the oldest of five siblings separated in the foster care system. The first night they met, Chris showed the Fridays a video that the social services department had created of the younger siblings to encourage their placement.
Initially, their request was turned down because their modest ranch home didn't have enough room. So, the Fridays converted their carport into two makeshift bedrooms and sold their van to offset some expenses. Ultimately, they were approved to adopt in April 2011.
The Friday family will be whisked away on a dream vacation to Jamaica.
Meanwhile, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" team leader Ty Pennington; designers Michael Moloney, Jillian Harris, Ed Sanders and Paige Hemmis; and Bellamy Homes and thousands of community volunteers will build the new house.
“We’ve spent weeks planning for this ambitious project, and we’re excited to start building their new home,” Bellamy Homes Co-Owner Wade Miller said in the release. “This will be a life-changing event for the Fridays, and we can’t think of a more deserving family to receive this gift from the greater Charlotte community.”
All products and labor are being donated by partnering businesses and suppliers, and thousands of volunteers are donating their time and expertise. The project needs laborers, food servers, clean-up workers and skilled trade professionals.
Building another house — a House of Hope
The Friday family, the beneficiaries of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build, have been in the process of starting a Lincolnton charity called House of Hope.
House of Hope will be a resource for families with foster children and provide important items, such as age-appropriate clothing, diapers and toys, on an emergency basis. The organization will also operate as a store where people can donate or purchase items to support the overall mission.
As part of the Fridays' new home project, Bellamy Homes is retrofitting a storefront for the House of Hope organization in Lincolnton. Organizers are also raising money to allow the charity to operate with little to no overhead for as long as possible.
They've raised enough to provide a year's worth of rent for House of Hope. They're hoping to be able to surprise the family with three years' worth of rent when they return to Lincolnton.
Donations can be made at www.bellamyhomes.com.
-- Kimberly Bender, Catholic News Herald
Want more "Extreme Makeover:Home Edition?"
For more on how his faith has led Catholic co-owner of Bellamy Homes to this "Extreme" build, click here.
Read about the pep rally at Belmont Abbey College here.
Follow the progress on the build, including photos and videos, at Bellamy Home's Facebook page.
For more about the builder, go to www.bellamyhomes.com.
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