Jayson Bendik ?04 Nominates Extreme Makeover Winners

April 08, 2010

Bendik, an elementary teacher in the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina, nominated the Wilson family along with fellow teacher Gail Horton. Having some of the Wilson children in class, they grew close to the family and knew about their living conditions. This prompted Bendik to compose an e-mail to 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.'

Pictured is Jayson Bendik '04 and Gail Horton

Thanks to this e-mail, Myrtle Beach, S.C. resident Renee Wilson and her four grandchildren will be receiving a brand new house this week on the show where deserving families living in serious conditions are awarded new houses.

What went into the winning email written by Bendik? He told the Sun News of Myrtle Beach, 'I just described the house, the condition it was in, and then I described the family and how thoughtful and respectful the kids are. And Miss Wilson, the grandmother, what can you say about her? She's an amazing woman.'

About three years ago the Wilson's daughter abandoned the four children, ages 5-ten. Foster care was not an option for the grandmother, as the children would most likely be separated. Instead, Wilson took the children in and has cared for them to the best of her ability. According to Bendik and Horton, the Wilson family deserved more than the two bedroom mobile home with leaks, duct-taped windows, and mattresses shared by all of them.

Everything from bathroom conditions to an outside, snake-infested washer and dryer, made the Wilsons the winning family out of five being considered in South Carolina.

'I saw where the washer and dryer was,' said Bendik, 'That really hit home with me.'

The Wilson will be vacationing in Disney World, another gift from 'Extreme Home Makeover,' while their new house is being built by a team of volunteers. Before leaving, Wilson said, 'It feels like a dream. I'm trying to hold this together. It will just be a blessing. I just won't know how to act.'

The house is expected to be larger than 4,000 feet and will be completed by Thursday, February 1, 2007.

Paula Caldwell, an assistant professor in the education department, received an e-mail from Bendik's mother Kellie about her son's involvement with the nomination. Caldwell was Bendik's professor and supervisor while he was at Mount Union. Caldwell said, 'He's a great guy making a difference in their lives.'

The show will air sometime in March.

To The Top!