KBPI Denver’s DJ Willie B has a big heart


KBPIDJ Willie B of CCME’s Denver rocker KBPI-FM came through big time for an 89-year old grandmother in the form of an $80,000 home renovation. He recently put up a question on his Facebook page, “What would you do if money were no object.”

He got the usual responses (800 or so): get a new car, go on a vacation… but one listener, Stacy Salazar, responded that she would buy her Grandma new carpeting because the 90-year-old took care of her and her younger siblings after her single mother was murdered: “Replace the carpets for my 90-year-old Grammy and fixing all the little things around her house. Just a small thank you for not giving us kids up to foster care when our parents died,” she wrote.

Willie did the good deed by getting a bunch of friends in the construction industry together and when it was all said and done Vivian Gallegos, better known as “Granny,” got her new carpeting, a new kitchen, new appliances, a new furnace and more–$80,000 in renovations in all.

“It was a very unselfish answer to a question designed to be selfish,” Willie B., whose real name is Steve Meade, tells Yahoo! Shine. He adds that, when he messaged her for more details, he found out the rest of the story: that Salazar’s single mom was murdered when she was just 7 and her siblings were 5 and 8, and that Gallegos took in all three kids and raised them, despite being 71 years old and caring for a husband in the late stages of Parkinson’s disease. Because of the added financial burden, Gallegos’s house, in Aurora, had fallen into deep disrepair, with problems that included 40-year-old shag carpeting worn flat as suede, crumbling walls, a taxed electrical system, an dilapidated couch held up by 26 phone books, barely-there insulation, a broken furnace and a severe mouse infestation.

Meade, who has been KBPI’s popular Willie B for 20 years, is no stranger to giving, despite living paycheck to paycheck. A vintage-car enthusiast and tinkerer, he says he buys about five or six used vehicles a year, fixes them up, and donates them to local families in need. “It’s just stuff I do on my own dime,” he told Yahoo Shine. And in addition to answering Salazar’s Facebook wish, he chose two others to grant, as well: one, to help a young girl learn to drive, and another, to spring for airfare for a young man who wanted to introduce his new baby to its faraway grandparents.

He attributes his generosity to having barely survived an accident in 2005, when a car fell off of a trailer on top of him, and he had to be resuscitated. “I guess I just look at life a little bit differently now. I want to make people’s lives a little better.”

See the Yahoo! Shine story here.