10 days volunteering in Joplin, Missouri from Wednesday, October 19th to Friday, October 28th, 2011 ~ what an amazing experience! Following are my top five highlights and reflections.
Highlights from Joplin:
1 – seeing the Hill family
2 – working with Chris and Loren in Art World
3 – getting Dreyson’s autograph on my hardhat
4 – stuck in house 6 with the designers while they filmed outside
5 – making the cameraman say a bad word
Day 7 – October 25th, 2011
Tuesday was crunch day, and we knew we would be working late into the night! Having so much fun and being really inspired!
Day 8 – October 26th, 2011
Wednesday – Installed the steps today, and the girl’s room in house 4 is going to be absolutely amazing! The inspiration and love that went into the room will have an impact on the family, and I can imagine how this may change her life; maybe she will become a designer or an artist for Disney! I truly feel that we have made a difference and accomplished something great, and that it is much bigger than us!
We installed more pieces in houses 5 and 6 then began helping the designers. We hung paintings, curtains, and did anything they needed.
In the afternoon on Wednesday I found myself stuck in house 6 as the began filming outside. I couldnt finish the work I was doing since I would have been right in the front windows. So I sat down on the floor and one of the producers came in. After a few moments four of the five stars came in the house. Ty stayed out front filming, and the others sat down in the living room or kitchen. I got a great picture with Michael. Tracey was hungry for Chick-fil-A. I pitched in ten bucks, and another volunteer snuck out of the house and got chicken sandwichs and fries for the stars. It was nice to see the stars hanging out!
Day 9 – October 27th, 2011
On Thursday we had to finish the entertainment center in the boy’s bedroom. I had to build a box for the tv to sit on, and when I got back to the room they were filming scenes with Paul. The director set up a scene where I would bring in the box and put it under the TV. As the scene unfolded it went horribly wrong; the stand wasn’t attached to the tv and when I moved it I dropped the box and some plexiglass on the tv stand. With a loud crash, the camera man said @#$ and everyone in the room laughed or shook their heads. Needless to say, that scene will be cut:-)
After finishing touches we were done with all of the houses, and I left to meet Stacy. Our son Paul was kind enough to drive her half way to Joplin. We met up that evening, and then Stacy and I headed back to Joplin.
Day 10 – October 28th, 2011
Friday, Stacy got to talk with Paul DiMeo during the elevator ride in the hotel, and then she got to meet the crew from Art World and Jose from catering. She worked with Jose in Ottawa, and it was great that she got to say hello!
We spent a wonderful weekend in Branson and then headed home.
This was a fantastic opportunity, and I’ll never forget this time! We look forward to additional volunteer opportunities, and I’m even more inspired to help others and get further into carpentry! These are life changing opportunities, and I wish for everyone to have the chance to experience an Extreme Makeover build!