Updated: Thursday, 06 Nov 2008, 6:13 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 06 Nov 2008, 6:13 PM EST
SHELDON, N.Y. (WIVB) - - You've probably seen the home makeover shows where distressed families get major help reconstructing their homes. Now generous western New Yorkers have taken on a monumental makeover job themselves to help a family whose hero has already helped all of us.
There's a beehive of activity underway at 1013 Centerline Road in the Wyoming County Town of Sheldon. What's it all about?
Pete Andrews (Christian Youth Corps) said, "It's all about bringing volunteers together to make a difference in Robert Toland's life."
Robert Toland is a husband and father of three young daughters, and an Army Staff Sergeant who helps G.I.s coming home from war transition to civilian life. Robert has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and while the family is away the Christian Youth Corps has mobilized an entire community of contractors and volunteers to add 960 square feet to the Tolands' home.
Kevin Haynes (Christian Youth Corps) said, "God's driving every move that we make. When we thought we were running out of money, we got news that we had a substantial donation waiting for us."
Initially some volunteers were going to build a first floor bathroom and install a new septic tank for the family, when suddenly it became something greater.
Dozens of contractors stepped in to volunteer a complete makeover of the house.
General contractor "Smokey" Breton said, "We have all kinds of help here, and it's talented help too."
Dawn Haynes (Christian Youth Corps) said, "You hear about what a bad economy, the economy is so bad, and no one wants to spend their money? Everybody is out here just donating everything."
They are giving it "their all," say Robert's friends, because Robert is like that every day of his life, even while battling cancer.
Robert's friend Josh Borycki said, "...and every day Robert calls me up and he says, 'Josh, I just want to make sure you have a good day, and let's pray for you,' and it just hits me in the heart, and that's the kind of person he is. He's more concerned about everybody else than he is about himself."
And when he comes home with his family from a week in Disney World, thanks to the Christian Youth Corps, Robert will see first hand just what he means to his community.
Tax deductable cash donations may be made out to Christian Youth Corps Inc.; note in memo Robert Toland Project.
Christian Youth Corps Inc.
9579 Main Street
Machias, N.Y. 14101