- Posted September 22, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
Nearly 100 volunteers help former NFL star repair home
- ChelseaCook, CNN iReport producer
"Luckily I do have a handful of true friends. They were saying, 'This is your house, and they're on your table.' From then on, I was on Twitter just following everything that was going on," he said.
Holloway Jr. said only a few people were aware of the schedule he and his father kept as they bounced back and forth between their home in Florida and their home at the foot of the Berkshires in Stephentown, NY.
"A few of my friends I thought I could trust," he said. "I guess not."
He said he's since received a few anonymous apology emails, but that more of them have been negative. One accused him of knowing about the party beforehand, and another insisted a broken item "was already broken." Holloway Jr. called the whole thing "crazy."
Holloway Sr. issued an online invitation for the partiers to return to his house with permission Tuesday, Sept. 17 to clean up their mess and repair their damages. He created the website "HelpMeSave300.com," where in a sidebar he emphasizes the value of hard work and discipline.
He adds on the website, " It’s been quite a gut shot dealing with all of this. I guess I’m still in shock. But I want to put aside the very strong emotions I’m feeling and focus on the one thing that is extremely clear the lives of these 300 students. I want them to live. I’ve seen too many young people die because of excessing partying, drugs and alcohol. [...] I believe that 'their ultimate party' of crimes can in fact become the ultimate Turning Point in the lives of these 300.
I really do. "
One set of parents arrived on the 17th with their child.
Holloway offered the 300 a second chance on Saturday, Sept. 21, with the following added to a new invitation on his website:
"Note To The 300: Please help! Come out and help set up, fix up, bring food, and picnic stuff. I'm here. Come now. Take a stand for your future. This is called redemption."
Only four of the partiers came this time, Holloway Jr. said.
Restoring faith in humanity were the 80-something volunteers, some of them neighbors and some from as far away as Boston who saw the story on the news, who arrived at Holloway's house Saturday to help him paint, clean, repair damaged furniture, and in one case strip a wood floor where the carpet had to be removed because one of the teenagers had urinated on it.
People brought so much food - pizza, cookies, brownies, cheese & crackers, casserole - that most of it sat uneaten on the outdoor picnic table.
"I knew this would happen," Holloway said. "Again it sends another big statement out to the press. Of all the kids, there were two or three that showed up, which is another indication. I gave you three chances, right? But a testament to this community is look at how many incredible people came out just for support."
- My life