Reuse and Recycle at the Extreme Makeover House

So can you imagine having your house built in 106 hours? That would be amazing! The Extreme Makeover house is going to be built in 106 hours for a very deserving family in Loris, SC (in Horry County).

And I can’t believe that I am a part of this experience. I have very amazing friends, the builder – Sterling Homes is leading the project. I am honored to know them and become neighbors with them soon.

Also, through my job at the Horry County Solid Waste Authority, we are helping with the recycling efforts during this Extreme week. We have set-up recycling bins at the Volunteer Catering tent, the VIP tent, the Volunteer Check-In, the Production area and the Builder office. So far, we have collected and recycled more than 300 lbs. of cardboard, bottles and cans. We’re expecting a whole lot more later this week once the interior gets started.

The Design Team has a list of needs that include a lot of salvaged items. I have personally donated old rusty bicycles, old antique soda bottles and old metal pipes with a little help from my friends, Annie Johnson and Kendall Elvis. Not sure what the Design Team plans to do with these items, but it will be exciting to see the final result in the house. I hope to have more to give to them. The design assistant that helped me unload my car today was very kind. She welcomed me and after we unloaded the items, she said I could walk around and check things out. The site is very orchestrated and on schedule. It is absolutely amazing to see the progress on the house.

Donated these old soda bottles to the Extreme Makeover Design Team
Donated these old soda bottles to the Extreme Makeover Design Team

Reuse is an important component of this build. The family’s house was originally built by the dad’s grandfather in the 1930s. Unfortunately due to asbestos and much structural decay, the house had to be demolished. (Of course, for the Extreme Makeover show too! The show is not complete without Ty running crazy, screaming about destroying the house). I have heard that the team salvaged some of the family’s old furniture to incorporate into the house. They also saved the original bricks for another feature for the new house (such as a fireplace or firepit). I think that is very sweet and sentimental for this family to have these memories as a part of their new home.

My favorite personal memory this week will have to be being introduced to Ed Sanders, the British carpenter of Extreme Makeover. My friend and the builder’s wife, Missy Dill, asked me for a ride back to her house. So on the way to the car, we walked through the RV trailers of the production crew. Of course, I was carrying a recycling bin and placed in that area for them to use. While there, I looked to my left and noticed Ed and a member of the production crew standing at a golf cart. I started to ask, “Is that…?” and Missy said, “Ed? Yes, would you like to meet him?” My eager answer, “Oh yes, please, of course.” I think that out of all the Extreme Makeover Designers, he was the one I really wanted to meet. We waited until he finished his conversation on the radio, then he walked right up to Missy. They discussed some things for the show including the visit with a Make-A-Wish child, 10-year-old Maddie Connaughton, who has mitochondrial disease. Then Missy introduced me to Ed and the conversation went something like this (this is not exactly word for word because I was starstruck):

Missy: Ed, this is Jennifer Sellers.

Ed (insert British accent here): Cheers (shakes my hand and pulls me in for a hug) very nice to meet you.

Me (honored to receive a hug): Oh hello, you too!

Missy: She is doing the recycling this week.

Me: Yup, we have set-up bins all around and I will be around collecting bottles and cans and stuff.

Ed: (with lots of energy and talking fast British accent) Oh brilliant! Recycling is great! Have you talked with the producers? Do you have a team?

Me: (with a starstruck smile) Uh….yes….sort of….thank you…

Ed: Great! We will have to spread the word, I will tell Rachel. We’ll definitely help out.

Missy: Yes, she just placed a container over there for you guys (pointing to the one in the producer area).

Ed (insert British accent here): Brilliant! I love it, we will do our best this week. Thank you for what you are doing.

Me: (still smiling) Oh….No…..Thank you…

Missy: Can she get a photo with you?

Ed (insert British accent here): Yes yes, of course!

* My life is complete….well, you know how moments like this happen, then you replay them in your head over and over again? Honestly, I have replayed this one and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

I can't believe we ran into Ed Sanders while there today!
I can't believe we ran into Ed Sanders while there today!
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