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Strength After the Storm: Extreme Makeover - KOAM TV 7

Strength After the Storm: Extreme Makeover

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7,500 homes were damaged or destroyed in the 2011 tornado. The rebuilding process was daunting and slow for many. But when a national television show came to town, 7 families were selected to receive a brand new home, built in just 1 week.

Building 7 houses in 7 days was an incredible feat but if any team of people could accomplish it, it was Ty Pennington and his Extreme Makeover Home Edition crew. The project created a new neighborhood for the families looking to start fresh after the devastation.

Crystal Cogdill is 1 of those homeowners.

“To take in all of this stuff in such a short amount of time, it’s like a whirlwind, you're just kind of caught up with I just went through something that was so traumatic and devastating to my life to now my family has been blessed with a home it was just so, lots of emotions," says Cogdill.

She lost her 9 year old son Zachary in the tornado. Finding a home in Joplin to heal and to raise her then 4 year old son David in was nearly impossible. A few months later, she had hope. She found out she would be part of Extreme Makeover Home Edition,

With the help of 21 contractors, retailers, and 10,000 volunteers Ty Pennington and his team built 7 unique homes. Joplin Supply Company was part of the effort, donating $60,000 worth of plumbing and electrical items to just these homes.

“To build  7 homes in 7 days, the coordination to make all of that happen is just,  when you're in the construction business and you see that happen that’s just mind boggling to know that can be done,” says Ron Hall with Joplin Supply Co.

Then came the moment Cogdill was waiting for. With a crowd chanting “move that bus,” her new home was revealed.

“I really was so in love with it, when I opened that front door and just to see the colors and just the way things were and it just, I mean they really did an awesome job,” she says.

With the house came 6 new neighbors.

“The families are great. We got to know each other, we didn't really stay too close, but we went through an experience that was amazing so it’s really bonded us that way. If anyone ever needed anything they know they can always knock on my door and ask for help,” she adds.

Over time, Joplin was rebuilt around the new neighborhood.

“At first it was just nothing and it was kind of like every day you would step out and you would be reminded of everything that had happened. Now when I step out, I see grass and I see trees that are starting to grow and I see kids riding bikes up and down the sidewalk and it just feels more normal,” Cogdill says.

In the past 5 years, she has made the home her own, also adding another son to their family. But not a day goes by that she doesn't remember the tornado, and the gift she was given.

“Whoever had anything involved, I mean I can't say thank you enough and I appreciate it, I mean it’s so appreciated, I don't take it for granted and it was life changing and it’s something that was a big blessing to our family,” Cogdill says.

Five years later, Cogdill says it's hard to choose but her favorite part of the house is the storm shelter in her garage.

4 of the 7 families still live in the homes built for them on Connor Avenue.

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