Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NEED: Gimme Shelter

Pre-makeover: Joy Stewart's House "as was".

On February 14th, on a modest street in the Kimberly Village section of North Lauderdale, FL I attended my very first LIVE reality TV home makeover reveal. Just like when I watch it on TV, I cried. But unlike when I watch it at home, I joined by many teary-eyed folk including police officers, neighbors, teachers, executives, local politicians, TV producers,  and reporters as we anticipated the Designing Spaces's Dream Team welcoming Joy Stewart and her four grandchildren into their newly renovated home.
There was a police escort on Welcome Home Day
News crews waited to capture unrehearsed emotion.
Joy and her family join hosts Debi Marie and David Jones and KC from KC and the Sunshine Band for a moment before going inside their newly refurbished digs.
The transformation was a community effort that began in December, after a detective and a deputy from the Broward County Sheriff's office discovered Joy Stewart and the ill-equipped, unhealthy, and unsafe house where she was raising her grandchildren. Joy stepped up to the plate when the kids were abandoned by their mother. The officers raised money within the department and solicited donations from stores so that Joy and her family could have food, hot water, new clothes, and toys over the holiday. Officer Doug Lashbrook  told me, "We see it all and are numb to a lot of things, but this hit a soft spot."
The kitchen had no "hearth of the home" personality nor working fridge
Flooring had taken a beating over the years.
As the holiday spirit evaporated, the officers urged Joy to apply for assistance at Rebuilding Together Broward, a non-profit that assists needy home owners -- especially those who are elderly, disabled and veterans -- with home repairs so that their primary shelter can be safe, secure, and manageable. RTB reached out to Designing Spaces TV who put their Dream Team on the case immediately. The two entities rallied support from Kids in Distress, The Miami Dolphins, Tuesday Morning, Standard Furniture and others.

stay tuned for transformation.
I cannot show you anymore of the "after" part. I am sworn to reality TV secrecy.

The story unfolds in 3 parts on Lifetime. The first episode airs tomorrow, April 4th, 7:30 a.m. The 2nd and 3rd parts will air on Designing Spaces on April 11th and 18th respectively.

1 comment:

Ashley Flynn said...

Awesome! Thanks Jane! :)