There is no doubt that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition can make a huge difference in a community. The show has a very ambitious goal for the Joplin area, and the response has been tremendous.

There is no doubt that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition can make a huge difference in a community. The show has a very ambitious goal for the Joplin area, and the response has been tremendous.

Thousands of volunteers have stepped up and helped provide what the Extreme Makeover project needs to build seven homes. Just from Crawford County, more than 150 students and faculty have contributed time and planning to the project. Locals have been involved in sewing drapes and curtains, pillow cases and more. All told, the project has brough excitement and energy to what amounts to a nationally televised service project.

The response has been amazing and the need has been great. It is wonderful to see communities from the four-state region unite to serve and help however they can.

In some ways, it is reminiscent of the days and weeks immediately following the May tornado, when people volunteered to go above and beyond for the sake of their fellow man.

Certainly there is an extra push to perform for a national audience, to show the volunteerism and skill of this area and to perform an incredible feat of construction in a short time.

Those skills that are on display this week for the ABC cameras are not going away when Ty Pennington and Xzibit leave. When the buses not only roll away, but leave for good, the area will still have construction ability, will still have talented seamstresses, will still have the knowledge of how to get things done quickly and correctly.

But while those skills and abilities will not be going anywhere, the need for those skills will not be going anywhere, either. Seven homes are a great start, but there will still be hundreds or thousands of homes and projects in Joplin that need to be rebuilt.

Even beyond Joplin, there is a great need here in Pittsburg. For instance, there are Habitat for Humanity projects that could use the same energy and involvement on display in Joplin. There are the disabled and elderly who can no longer perform work on their own home and need the help.

Seven homes will soon be constructed in Joplin in a matter of days. The effort and skill that have been involved have been courageous and commendable.

When the project is done, let’s complete an extreme makeover that lasts beyond the cameras.

by Andrew Nash, for the Morning Sun