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A Selfless Gift for the Dunnings

By Guest, in Extreme
This guest post is actually a letter written by Mr. Alan Tuttle to the Schell Brothers, their Employees, and their subcontractors participating in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

In spite of the list before me, writing this note takes priority this morning. Over the past couple days of recovery I have had time to contemplate the experience that I just had the opportunity to participate in. It is an experience and a memory that will surely stay with me for years to come.  Those moments are few in life so it is worthy to stop, ponder, and take notice.

The thought that recurs over and over is of a selfless gift that was given to the Dunnings.  The credit for that surely goes to the Schell Brothers.  It is truly a noble act when one seeks out individuals that have the capacity and history of selfless giving to others and then enables them to do even more.  It goes beyond the good PR for the company and it goes beyond the basic charitable giving expected by a company of this caliber.  It shows real leadership.  It also illustrates the power of having a team and not just employees.  I have not met a Schell Employee that is not empowered with a Can Do attitude, a smile, and a great deal of professionalism (not to mention a love for the company they work for).  I take my hat off to each and every one of you for all that you have done with this community, the Extreme Makeover, and with our home.  You have set an excellent example in the community in which you do business and, with the coming show, nationally… and that will create even more ripples that could turn into waves as you inspire others to do the same.
You have also given me pause to adjust my attitude a bit.  Over the years one becomes a bit hardened after dealing with the majority of businesses out there that fall short of expectations.  When I first encountered Schell your reputation was great.  I on the other hand am not one to give much credit to reputation freely.  I have to see it for myself.  During the early months of planning our new home, there were a few bumps in the road, I jumped to conclusions and my defenses were solid.  I have learned a few things…where I looked at bumps as ominous signs…you all looked at them as opportunities.  And I then watched as you truly have stepped up to the plate.  Our home is not yet finished, but I don’t worry about my builder anymore… you have Earned my respect.
Though, like you, I gave it my all for 8 days without complaint, I have also noted how easily ego rears its head as I have made note to a few people in the last two days of how tired I was or how many hours I worked…  that too is a flaw on my part.  I didn’t hear a single complaint from a Schell employee or a need for them to note their individual contributions though surely I witnessed their exhaustion after countless hours on site.  It shows that as a team and as individuals there is real moral fiber in the Schell Brothers choice of employees.  I even sense that is prerequisite for employment side by side with skills.  This too reflects on your leadership.
Additionally noteworthy was to watch what happened to and within the community.  I have always believed that, given the opportunity, people will set aside their own needs and desires to help others.  With all of the troubles in the world we need occasional reminders of our humanity.  Many lessons have been learned this week by many people about the strength and power of giving.  It is a lesson that for many will spark a whole new facet of their lives that will continue for years to come.  That is the ancillary benefit often overlooked but equally as important as the past week.  Perhaps a few more people will join the volunteers at Juust Sooup, perhaps they will seek out others in need in the community, perhaps the young people that attended will open new dialogues about their purpose and value in a community.  This would not have happened without all of you.
I am but one person sharing my thoughts but you should know that I am not alone.  I am very grateful for what you have done, I am proud of all of you as individuals and as a company, I am pleased to know I chose the right builder and the right community.
Thank YOU
Alan B. Tuttle
Reserves at Lewes Landing

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