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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Thousands of East Texas volunteers have been working for a week straight to completely rebuild a Mineola couple’s home as part of ABC’s television show Extreme Home MakeOver.

These volunteers have come from all over the area. Tyler Junior College has sent a team to help out with this project. On March 1, at 6 a.m. several TJC students showed up to show their support and help in any way possible.

“EMHE” has chosen one of five deserving East Texas families to receive a totally rebuilt and remodeled home. The candidates for this makeover face a hardship of some sort, whether it is a serious illness or coping with destruction to their home due to a natural disaster.

Ty Pennington, who is now entering his seventh season as host and designer of “EMHE,” made his famous door knock on Feb. 25, and revealed the Carr family of Mineola was the lucky family. The Carr Family was chosen because of their compassionate nature. Mike and Katrina Carr have adopted four children, all of whom have some type of severe physical disability. The home that the Carr family was living in was not sufficient for the needs of the children, making them the perfect recipient for a home makeover.

“Extreme Makeover” teamed up with the local construction company Bayless Custom Homes to assist them in the building of this new home. Bayless Homes was chosen because of its 28-year history of supporting the East Texas community and for its quality of work.

“This is great. I can’t tell you what this means to my family and I. We are extremely blessed,” said Gary Bayless of Bayless Custom Homes.

“EMHE” and Bayless Construction hosted a pep rally at Green Acres Baptist Church on Feb. 18, to inform the Tyler community of the upcoming project and to find volunteers to help rebuild this home. All the material needed to build this home must be donated by local businesses and residents. In attendance were the TJC Apache Belles along with Robert E. Lee’s drill team and Tyler residents eager to help with this rewarding project.

“We want to show you what happens when our community comes together. It would typically take four months or longer to build a home, but we’re going to build one in 106 hours, said Conrad Ricketts, the executive producer of “EMHE”.

“We have never failed before, and I know Tyler isn’t going to fail us either.”

Not only did “EMHE” build a home, but they also sponsored a local food and blood drive.

Carter Blood Care predicted that they would have to see at least 1,100 donors per day to meet the needs of East Texas hospitals and patients. All volunteers receive a free commemorative T-shirt.

East Texas Food Bank was also in desperate need of donations. Over the last four years, there has been a 90 percent increase in East Texans asking for emergency food assistance. Those who want to help can drop off food at any local Brookshire’s or Super One Food location through this Saturday March 6.

“We have traveled to all 50 states and reached out to heroes just like you who have come to volunteer. Helping others is what this is all about,” said Milan Vasic, senior producer of EMHE.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition airs on Sunday at 7 central time on ABC.

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