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“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” has announced that it will build a new home for a Hyattsville couple and their three sons. The couple sponsor and run an activities program for local kids, coordinating events “that have ranged from bowling on a Friday night to flower arranging for Mother’s Day,” according to the following press release.
The ABC program will also be rebuilding The Fishing School, a youth development group in Deanwood in Washington D.C.
Both properties were scheduled for demolition yesterday.
Here’s some more information on the Hyattsville family:
Nikema aka “Tripp” (age 31), Tamara Tripp (age 30), and sons Micah (age 5), Ethan (age 3) and Aaden (age 9 months). More than three decades ago, “Tripp” Tripp’s father ran a bus ministry for the Woodland Baptist Church, hoping to make his rough neighborhood a better place. Now a generation later, Tripp and Tamara are continuing a family tradition of service and generosity. About 40 kids each week more than 90 children on holidays board the bus for fun and safe activities that have ranged from bowling on a Friday night to flower arranging for Mother’s Day. Tripp, an electrician, and Tamara, a teacher’s aide, serve as Bus Captain and Project Coordinator respectively.
More importantly, Tripp and Tamara have taken on the role of mentors to many of these children who often look for a sympathetic ear outside their home. The Tripps give of themselves lovingly – but their generosity has its costs. Since their church cannot afford to fund the activities provided by the “Big Blue Bus,” the Tripps pick up the tab. Earning only modest salaries from their regular jobs, they have little left over to repair the crumbling 900-square-foot, two-bedroom, one bathroom house they share with their three young sons.
The Tripps will be at Disney World while “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” transforms their home. And here’s some more information about The Fishing School:
In 1990, The Fishing School, a youth and family support organization, was created…[Tom Lewis, TFS’s founder was a police officer, who spent] 18 years in the Officer Friendly program visiting classrooms throughout the D.C. public school system to counsel students and to teach good citizenship, drug abstinence, and safety. His dedication and commitment to children was evident. Lewis was frequently overwhelmed when he visited classrooms and witnessed the poverty and desperation exhibited by the students. He tried to set an example for students by having earlier earned his GED and eventually earning a college degree.
In 1986, Lewis retired from the police department and a few years later in 1989 he dedicated himself to serving those children he’d met along the way as Officer Friendly. He decided to convert a rental property that he had purchased in a drug infested northeast Washington, D.C. neighborhood into a family support center. He spent the next nearly two decades proving that if one man stands up, he can truly make a difference. The Fishing School programs have gone on to reach over 2,500 students and their parents in under-served communities throughout the District of Columbia.