WEST UNION, Iowa - Workers for Extreme Makeover Home Edition
put the final touches on a new house for a West Union Family Monday.
Audrey Gibbs and her six children arrived home after seven days away from West Union. They had no idea what they would return to.
Now that the construction is complete and the fanfare is winding down, the Gibbs family is taking an opportunity to say thank you to the people who made their new home possible.
"I've seen a lot of my friends here and a lot of familiar faces. It's great to know everyone cares," Josh Gibbs said.
Audrey Gibbs's life has not been easy. She lost her husband several years ago and is now raising six children alone. She also lost her vision following a brain aneurysm.
She could not make it outside to talk to the community because she had a headache. Her family said considering her medical history, she needed rest.
"The one eye is completely blind and her peripherals are completely cut off as of today she was feeling a little sick," Josh Gibbs added.
The children stood humbly as they thanked everyone for their contributions. They were also pleasantly surprised to receive some extra help.
All six kids received full scholarships to Northeast Iowa Community College and Upper Iowa University.
"An education is an investment in their future. It's teaching them to fish rather than feeding them fish," Upper Iowa University President Dr. Alan Walker said.
Anytime Fitness in West Union also gave the entire family a free one year membership. Moore Foods, a West Union grocery store, also gave the family a year's worth of free groceries.
Volunteer crews finished up the very last bit of work on the house. It was a long week of blood, sweat and tears, but volunteers say it's all worth it to hear a few simple words.
"That's just amazing how people step up and do it, " Daniel Gibbs said. "It's going to be a lot better."