On Sunday, January 30, ABC will air a special two hour episode of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ focusing on the Brown family of Wellman, Texas. The Browns lost their eldest daughter, Alex, during a texting-and-driving accident in 2009 and have made it their mission to share their experience and warn of the dangers of texting-and-driving ever since.
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is teaming with the Marines for the ultimate call to action in Beaufort, South Carolina to honor Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Dickinson’s family with a new home. Deployed to Afghanistan on November 5th, the soldier’s loving wife and five children are fighting a losing battle to save their home. The scenario is one far too common for many military families across the nation. In his absence, their home continues to depreciate due to spreading mold and flood damage. Despite the deplorable conditions, the family maintain and model their lives in the same way their father honors our country. His wife, India, volunteers on behalf of a military support group, and his oldest children, Grant (16) and Brianna (14), both plan to enlist in the Navy after they graduate from high school to serve and protect the nation. Volunteers and local military will be on hand to lend their efforts and some good old fashioned elbow grease to the Dickinson family.
On November 16, the Brown family — Jeanne, Johnnie Mac and their 12-year-old daughter, Katrina — were giving a presentation to area high school students at Seagraves High School in their small hometown of Wellman, Texas (population 300). They were telling the teen-aged audience about the dangerous consequences of driving while talking on a cell phone, texting-while-driving and riding in a car without a seat belt. Sadly this family knows the topic too well, having lost their daughter, Alex, who was texting-while-driving and not wearing her seatbelt. While Amanda Billings, Alex’s best friend since childhood, was speaking about the experience of losing her best friend, she gave a cue to the 600-plus students who then reached below their seats and lifted up cards that read, “Good Morning, Brown Family!” Then the “EM: HE” bus rode onto the football field and the design team jumped out to let this deserving family know that they are the latest recipients of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
On November 12, Carmen and Jim Simpson and their three children were enjoying a special Southern cooked breakfast from celebrity chef Paula Deen at her restaurant, located in Savannah, Georgia’s historic district. Deen was honoring the Simpsons, along with other families, for their volunteer and charity work when the family learned that they would be the latest recipients of a home makeover as design team leader Ty Pennington and “EM: HE” designers emerged from the kitchen with the exciting news.
There is no bigger Mariah Carey fan than the talented and charismatic Finis Gaston, a shining star in his own right in his Baker, Florida neighborhood. Imagine his surprise when the music legend came to the small town where he takes care of his niece and nephews. Finis was coaching one of his cheerleading sessions yesterday, Monday, October 18, when Carey announced to the Gaston family that they are the latest recipients of an “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team has ambushed the Anderson Family in Cleveland, Ohio, and is about to deliver the ultimate upgrade. The family of four have inspired their community by heightening awareness of the obstacles facing the disabled in their community. Diving headlong into their work, Andre and Jasmine have dedicated their time to supporting and counseling the disabled by connecting them with resources to help them live and lead more independent lives. Faced with some of their own challenges (Andre is blind and Jasmine is legally blind), the couple have pushed forward full steam to make Cleveland a more user-friendly environment.
The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” team is taking the bull by the horns and heading to Tennessee, “The Volunteer State.” With their sights set on the city of Nashville, the designers are poised to honor a community that lives by the code that neighbors help neighbors. After the devastating 500 year flood on May 1st of this year, much of “Music City” was left under water, a number of people died and there was widespread property damage. At the center of the tragedy is the Lighthouse School and the family who’s been running it since 2003, the Sweatt family. The school became known nationally when news stations featured footage of one of their buildings floating down the interstate. Yet, despite the extensive damage to their own facility, the Sweatt family spearheaded recovery efforts, and to date have helped over 200 families.
The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” design team discovered there was a whole lot of shaking going on in Neenah, Wisconsin when they met Rhex Arboleda. Rhex is a hometown hero who has distinguished himself by locally leading the movement to banish the childhood obesity epidemic. In 2004 he created “Move to the Groove,” a dance program designed to get both teachers and students on their feet and in shape. Rhex’s award-winning dance program is currently being used in three elementary schools where health and wellness is a priority. Ironically Rhex’s own health and wellness, and that of his family, is compromised by the state of the 70-year-old home they live in.
On Sunday, the Lutz family of East Setauket, New York thought they had simply been invited to attend an afternoon baseball game between the Yankees and the New York Mets. Instead they were surprised to find out they would be the latest recipients of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” re-build via the Jumbotron screen at Yankee Stadium. In place of design team leader Ty Pennington’s traditional morning wake up call to the deserving family, he stormed the field and announced the good news just before the game.
ABC Television Network and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” have teamed up to help raise money in support of Nashville flood relief with a simple “text-to-donate” charitable effort. Some cast members from the hit ABC show are scheduled to be there to lend their support and to help raise awareness for the Nashville flood victims.
Beginning today, simply text the keyword NASH [followed by a space] and the amount you want to donate to 27138. A thank you message with instructions enabling you to safely and securely fulfill your donation via credit card will follow. The donation will not be billed to your mobile phone.