Sunday's episode of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" may have changed the views of many about the City of Good Neighbors. It showed how a community can bond together to help not only one family, but dozens. More than that however, it may have changed the way our country views single moms.
Delores Powell and her four children who live on Massachusetts Avenue in Buffalo, got a visit from the "Makeover" crew this past November. Powell moved to the United States with her children from Jamaica and thought she had found a great home for $12,000. It wasn't until after her family moved in that they realized the severity of the term, "fixer-upper." The property was actually condemned and slated for demolition. She worked hard with her son to get the building up to code, but the work was simply too intense for them.
Failure was not an option for Powell, so she moved forward. She worked two jobs to make ends meet, and made sure her children studied hard to excel in school. However Powell had more than helping her family in mind. She became a part of PUSH Buffalo, a nonprofit housing group. She devoted her time and energy into helping others, even though she herself did not have much. Powell's neighbors did not have hot water, so she helped them use some from her home. The only bathroom in her own house didn't even have a sink, or hot water. It all came from her kitchen.
Powell's perseverance showed the country that single mothers are some of the strongest people out there. She helped spread the message of hope and faith to other single parents. While there are many stereotypes of single mothers, Powell may have squashed them all. Her family is her number one priority. Her children are confident, intelligent young people who work right by her to help others. Courtesy of Canisius College, the four Powell children will each enjoy full scholarships to the school. Good thing Mom pushed them to get good grades!
The "Extreme Home Makeover" team helped thousands of Buffalo volunteers transform the houses and lives of the Powell family, and everyone on Massachusetts Avenue. With a renewed sense of strength, Delores Powell is invigorated to give even more than ever. Bravo to the many volunteers, organizers and supporters!
For more info: Buffalo News Article