In October 2008, I saw a posting on the Window Coverings Association of America website that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was looking for several people to fabricate window treatments and bedding for a family based in Fayetteville, Pennsylania. I contacted Monique Becker of Becker Window Fashions. She was chosen by the show to put together a team to fabricate the treatments.
I was part of 7 designer workrooms asked to fabricate window treatments and pillows for this family. Several workrooms were based in and around Reading, PA and there were 3 of us from Maryland. All of us arrived on a Tuesday to get the fabric and the design specs from the designers (not the ones you see on TV, but the ones who really do the work). We divided the work between us and had to deliver it back to the house on Thursday. My friend Denise and I were asked to sew the panels that are in the main family room of the house.
Our group arrived to install our window treatments on Thursday at 4:00 and when we were finished installing, the designers asked if we could help more so we stayed on to help do whatever they needed. We brought in groceries, hung up new clothes, unpacked new toys, threw away trash and so much more. We were in the house until 3:00 am Friday morning. The head designer said we could come back to help inside the house before the family came home. We arrived at 11 Friday morning and did more of whatever needed done inside the home.
The Drumm family has 2 sons who are both autistic. The mother works part time as a teachers assistant and she and her husband both volunteer for a local baseball league.
They purchased their 900 square foot ranch home about a year and a half ago without knowing that it was built on a land fill. They had been living without running water and their only source of heat was from one wood burning stove. We were told it was the worst home the producer had ever seen with mold growing on the basement walls.
ABC picked this family from 5 in the Fayetteville area who all qualified. The women who originally wrote the letter to ABC never got to see the Drumm family win because she passed away before it was announced they were selected for the new home.
I haven't watched this show much lately because it always made me cry and I also became cynical that the house was really built in a week (and it was high quality) and they really did all this wonderful stuff for the family. I am here to tell you first hand, it is all real and there are so many wonderful people who you never get to see who volunteer their time and money to make this all possible. Not a dime was spent to put this house together. EVERYTHING was donated. I feel so blessed to have had a chance to be part of it all.
This show aired January 18, 2009.