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Tripp Halstead to move into donated home on Saturday

12:47 AM, Jul 13, 2013   |    comments
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JEFFERSON, Ga. -- Tripp Halstead and his parents will move into their new home on Saturday, thanks to countless donors from around the world who have been following Tripp's progress on social media.

"Saturday afternoon's going to be a tremendously emotional day for everybody involved," said the project's organizer, Holly Ranney of the charitable organization "Sunshine on a Ranney Day."

In just three and a half months, volunteers have transformed a foreclosed house in a Jefferson subdivision into a place that two-year-old Tripp Halstead can call home.

"Basically we gutted the entire house," said Pete Ranney Friday evening, "so from the sub-floor up, it's a new roof, new shingles, everything on the inside, new appliances, it's amazing."

The house is now accessible, a home where Tripp will be able to grow, where he'll be able to get around, where he will be comfortable during his long recovery.

"Hallways widening, doors widening, bathrooms are much bigger than the standard bathroom," Pete said.

Tripp suffered a brain injury on October 29 when a tree limb fell on him at the playground of his daycare.

Tripp's parents, Stacy and Bill Halstead, have documented his long, slow recovery on Facebook, and Tripp has captured the attention and the hearts of people worldwide.

The Halsteads will see their newly-renovated home for the first time Saturday afternoon during an invitation-only celebration with the volunteers and donors who gave of themselves -- for Tripp.

"A lot of vendors stepped up for the labor," Pete said, "and then they had their suppliers step up for the materials.... The donations just kind of passed right on down the line, so it worked very well."

The Ranneys describe the project as one of the largest home makeovers in Georgia history.  Just the renovations to make it accessible would have cost the family $200,000, in addition to all the other renovations.

"They've been living with Stacy's parents, because they had to sell their other house because there were no bathrooms on the main floor," Holly said, and that house could not be remodeled to accommodate Tripp's current and future needs.

"It's going to be exciting for everyone to be able to see their progress in their new home," Holly said, "because there are so many more surprises that we can't even say right now of what they're going to see in their house, tomorrow. And all of it has to do with helping Tripp's recovery."

Where there is life there is hope, and now Tripp will have a home, a home built on the hopes and prayers of people around the world whose support has helped bring him this far, helped bring him home.

"So it's going to be neat to see, in the future," Holly said, "like how he adapts in his home, and the progress that he has."

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