Newtown, CT – The Extreme Makeover for Sandy Hook Elementary School movement began as a Facebook page post by Denise Labrecque and Jade Yesom Gunver on December 18. The women requested that others help in the effort to build a new school so the students of Sandy Hook do not have to return to one of the most horrific crimes scenes in American history.
Labrecque wrote a letter to Ty Pennington of Extreme Makeover to ask if the show could help heal the pain caused during the Newtown shooting by helping make the dream of a new school come true. The initial post about the Sandy Hook Extreme Makeover idea garnered 9,000 almost immediately.
An excerpt from the “Extreme Makeover For Sandy Hook” Facebook page posted by Denise Labrecque reads:
“I am a 50 year old Grandmother. I can’t stand the thought of what the survivors and their families are going through. I am here in Connecticut and there is so much sadness and pain that it was making me angry and depressed … unable to help. Financially, I cannot help. I had to say something. I also made a sign from one of my pics and put it on Facebook the night before. To not give up faith and hope … but I didn’t publicly do that, only friends – mistake. So I just thought who could afford to build a school? I thought of Extreme Makeover and then the show came on and that was it. I can’t sit by and watch all this pain and not try to help. I hope in some way, even though they are right around the corner, we are here for them! We will do whatever they need. My Heart and love goes out to all who are feeling these losses and fear from this tragedy.”
Jade Yesom Gunver, a 48-year-old mother of three girls, happened to see the Sandy Hook Extreme Makover post and wanted to help as well. She suggested to Labrecque that they start a Facebook page dedicated to the cause and push forward with the idea of a special edition episode of Extreme Makeover in Newtown.
Causes.com has a similar pledge movement currently active. The “Sandy Hook Elementary Makeover” pledge page asks Americans to help support the survivors of the senseless mass shooting by giving the children and new school to go back to in the near future.