As soon as Pamela Thompson knew that Extreme Home Makeover was coming to Joplin, she knew that she wanted to be part of it.

As soon as Pamela Thompson knew that Extreme Home Makeover was coming to Joplin, she knew that she wanted to be part of it.

“After they announced in August they were coming, I went online and applied to volunteer,” said Thompson, experienced seamstress who once operated her own sewing business. “I thought I’d tote down to Joplin and set in a tent with my sewing machine.”

But that’s not how it worked out.

“About six weeks ago I got the call asking me if I would be in charge of a team sewing for a house,” Thompson said. “I said sure, I know enough people who sew.”

That was not the end of it. A little later, she was asked if she had enough people to take care of two of the seven houses that Extreme  Home Makeover is building for Joplin tornado victims.

“I said sure again,” Thompson said. “Then, just a few days ago, I got an e-mail saying that with all the people I have, couldn’t I do just a little bit more.”

So she signed on to do a special project that, for confidentiality reasons, she can’t yet reveal. However, Thompson did say that the special project has to be done by Saturday. The rest of the sewing, including drapes and curtains, pillow cases and douvets (comforter covers), must be completed by Tuesday.

“Then we’ll take them over and install them on Tuesday,” Thompson said.

She said that her volunteers will be sewing for the sixth house, which will be occupied by the Nguyen family, and the seventh house, the future home of the Gonzales-Ely family.

Through phone calls, e-mails and appeals to friends and members of her church family at First Christian Church, Thompson recruited more than 20 people to help out.

“Some of them are sewing, others are ironing or running errands,” she said. “The church offered the space for us to work.  The fabric has been provided by Extreme Home Makeover.”

“I got the e-mail and it sounded like it would be fun,” said Jewell Turner as she cut out fabric squares. “And it’s helping people.”

“I just heard about it in church,” said Shirley Knightly, who was working with Turner. “The  young ones can go down to Joplin and work, this is something that we can do.”

“I started this project as my own personal dream,” Thompson said. “I just put out the call and people responded. I had no idea this many would want to  help.”

She added that the First Christian Church will also provide shelter this weekend for a mission group from Wichita, the Hammer Heads, who will be going over to work in Joplin.

“We’ll be working around them,” Thompson said. “This church is going to be a busy, bustling place.”