'Extreme Makeover' Henryville style: Veteran and others thankful for new homes


by Claudia Coffey


Posted on March 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 30 at 6:41 PM

(WHAS11) -- One Vietnam veteran went from losing everything in the Henryville tornadoes to getting a brand new life.

Call it "Extreme Makeover Henryville style." The first new home is being built, free of charge,  for Henryville tornado victims. Construction on this first new donated home began on Monday. If the weather holds up, it will be finished in just five days and ready for the new owner to move in.

David Sumpter's was lucky he was staying with a neighbor.

"I'm so happy. God! First four days I wished I had went with it [his home]. Then all these people started showing up . And started giving me hope, " said Sumpter.

His two dogs survived and for days the Vietnam veteran felt hopeless. Until Henryville Community Pastor Rich Cheek told him that volunteers would build him a new home.

"It's not back to where he was, it's better. We are making a veteran's life better by folks in our area giving , helping, loving,"  said Pastor Cheek.

This project to rebuild Henryville came together in a matter of days. Everything is donated including work crews, supplies and of course the price of building the homes.

The two bedroom house is more than Sumpter could ever dream of. In addition to the home, crews are also building him a greenhouse and chicken coup.

"I don't know if that describes it or not. It's above excited. I mean look at that," said Sumpter, talking about the construction.

The goal is to build 99 more homes. But, Pastor Cheek says so many organizations have stepped up that the number is expected to go up.

Construction on three more homes will begin over weekend.

The receipts were chosen based on whether or not they had home insurance. The owners will be responsible for paying their own taxes.