This past Friday I took the day off from work so that I could lend a helping hand to a family get back into there home. It was the most emotional, self satisfying feeling - it still tugs at my heart today just thinking about it.
Okay, here's the dirt...
I volunteered to help out with the rebuilding of a family's home out in Keller, Tx. The ABC television series Extreme Makeover Home Edition selected the Augustin family (Peter and Amber) and began work on their new home this past Tuesday. Due to work, I could only volunteer on Friday. I did, however, try to get in on Saturday and Sunday, but all the slots were taken.
So on Thursday night, I grabbed everything that I would need to take with me (wasn't really all that much) and went to bed, 4 AM comes mighty early.
The alarm went off, and I hopped out of bed, dressed and off I went.
Keller is a small town north of Ft. Worth and pretty much west of my house. So I hit the road and maneuvered through little two lane roads and finally made it to the build site. I was a bit unnerved at the parking, I had to drive off a street and onto a field to get to the parking and volunteer check-in tents. Remember, it's in the country in the wee hours of the morning. The only guiding light I had was the actual house - it was lit up like a football field.
I was off to check-in, grab my shirt and my hard hat.
Oh, I forgot to mention, the temperature was in the high 20's/low 30's. Yeah, it was COLD.
I couldn't wear my jacket because the logo on the back of the shirt identified people allowed on the site. Luckily, I wore some silks (similar to long-johns) under my clothes and stayed in the catering tent until the sun came up.
While in the tent, I helped to set up and serve breakfast. Serving came in spurts so in during the slow moments I would grab some Chlorox wipes and start cleaning the tables for the next group. There were 35 to 40 tables set up that me and another women wiped down. I do have to admit I was impressed that the guys working on the house all picked up they're own trash.
After breakfast we set out tons of snacks and drinks (all donated).
While at breakfast, we didn't need to wear the hard hats so we set them aside, after awhile someone came in and took them back to the volunteer tent. Crap!
The sun had finally come out and after working in the catering tent, I decided to venture outside with JoAnn, another volunteer. We headed out to the volunteer tent to see if anything was needed there. We were in luck, errands needed to be run in town so off we go. We were gone for about an hour maybe a bit longer. Upon our return I was told to grab a hard hat and take some stuff up to the house - yippee!! I get my hard hat back and I'm not giving it up until it's time to go.
Going up to the house was where everything was happening - it was so exciting and so full of energy.
I know this is turning into a long read, so I'll start shortening it up a bit.
The rest of my time I supplied drinks and snacks to the workers in and around the house.
I ran errands around the site, I cleaned up trash inside and outside the house.
Oh, I did meet some of the people on the show - Eduardo, Tracy and Paul. Ty wasn't in town on Friday, it was rumored that he was due later that evening.
At one point I was in the house with snacks and drinks for the workers while the production crew were taping a segment, the director told me that there was a possibility that I may be in the shot and to ignore the camera. OMG!
I also met and had a nice conversation with Mike Agustin, Peter's father. I heard the whole story on the flood that ruined their home and everything that happened during the show's selection process.
It was great talking to him!
I did manage to take some pictures, but I can't post them until Monday afternoon after the "Move That Bus" segment is filmed. It was in the release I signed.
If you click here, you can see some of the photos from the builder's site.
I did meet and make friends with two great girls - Lisa and Tammy. Thanks girls, I had a blast!!
I left the site at 3PM or so after I realized that I was TIRED!!!!
I drove home, sat on the sofa and immediately fell asleep.
It was a long day, but well worth the aches, pains and bruises I knew I would have the next morning.
I did something good!!!