WELLMAN, TX (KCBD) – Construction continues in Wellman, that is where volunteers and members of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crew are busy building a new home for the family of Alex Brown.
Alex died a little more than a year ago when her pickup rolled on the way to school. Her family says she was texting at the time, and now they use her story to encourage people to take the BUST pledge to Buckle Up and Stop Texting.
It is Hollywood in Wellman, Texas and the support of the community has brought the population up to five times from what it usually is. Thursday, volunteers from Palm Harbor Homes and the West Texas Home Builders Association worked around the clock to get the foundation laid.
"When it's time for us to go to bed, I can't go to sleep. Because I want to be out here seeing what's going on in my backyard," said Rosie Garza, Brown family neighbor.
Because of the high wind gusts and cold temperatures from Wednesday, the crew was four hours behind schedule and they're now playing catch-up.
"Yesterday was brutal, that doesn't really affect the build yet. As long as it stays dry, we're fine. The house is going to come with a roof on it already. And apparently it blows here all the time," said Michael Moloney, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Designer.
The modular home is being placed on top of the foundation and from there, it will take five to six hours to completely assemble.
"We did some unloading and loading of furniture, we dug some holes and pretty much just building the foundation for the house right now," said Paul Cartwright, volunteer from Frenship High School.
There are many neighbors and spectators around and they say this is an experience to remember, but more so, this is a chance for the Brown's to get their message out for others to buckle up and stop texting.
"We're making a difference because the family is making a difference," said Moloney. "We're just really a catalyst here to get their message out this week. And the cool thing is it's not going to be just West Texas who gets this message. Our show is seen by millions and millions of people, we're actually in 70 countries worldwide."
The story of Alex Brown has not only touched the community of Wellman, but it's provoked a home builder company to start the Remember Alex Brown Foundation.
"To help the Brown family do what they do more and for more people. And that's to go and tell the story of Alex Brown," said Colleen Rogers, Palm Harbor Homes.
The support will continue as workers build around the clock for a dream come true for one deserving family. "We're a little remote out here in West Texas. But you know really at the end of the day it's about community, it's about people, it's about volunteers coming together and that is not for the shortage," said Maloney.
"There's so much bad in the world and you come here and you forget about it all because every part of it. Its great people helping great people in their community and its neighbors helping neighbors," said Rogers.
Palm Harbor Homes has set up the Alex Brown Foundation. If you donate $100, Palm Harbor Homes will give you a VIP pass to see everything up close and personal. They say that even $1 counts. The money goes to help get the house for the Brown's in shape with supplies and furnishings. The web address for the foundation is www.rememberalexbrownfoundation.org.
Spectators can come anytime from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. to watch the progress.
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