Getting the Kids Involved at Extreme Makeover : Home Edition Long Island build

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When you think of what goes on at a build for Extreme Makeover:Home Edition, what comes to mind? Building a house in a week? Giving a well deserved family a brand new home to change their lives for the better? These are the things that make EMHE what it is. But something else takes place, organically, at these events. The community comes together for one purpose, working together to make a difference. It’s one of the most amazing parts of the show. The Lutz family build in East Setauket is the 8th project that Alure Home Improvements has volunteered to lead for the show. Each time, they get a huge outpouring of support from the community that grows with each episode. One challenge that Alure often faces with getting the community together, is the restriction for kids under the age of 18 being allowed on site to work… So for the first time, the Alure team partnered up with two key organizations, Splashes of Hope & Boy Scouts of Suffolk County, to coordinate a way, a place, where kids could get involved in making a difference for the family.

Alure recognized the sincere willingness to help from the children who wanted to volunteer and came up with a way to get them involved. An 18 and under tent was created and set up on the block that the build was taking place. With the help of Splashes of Hope, a non-profit organization based out of Huntington, NY, kids were painting murals to welcome the family back to their new home. The Splashes of Hope team members spent each day instructing the kids on how to apply paint and fill in the mural panels with messages and pictures of love and joy. “We are honored that our work could be a part of the greater mission of transformation which Extreme Makeover:Home Edition provides to families and viewers nationally, and which Alure Home Improvements orchestrated locally,” says Heather Buggee, Founder & Executive Director at Splashes of Hope. “The positive energy of the neighborhood was palpable, and it was truly inspiring to witness the community coming together to help the family get a much needed new start.” When nightfall hit, and the children’s tent closed, the Splashes of Hope team lent their expertise to the EMHE design team to help with any decorative painting that was needed inside the house. The artists also painted murals on to some of the hardhats that were auctioned off during the week at the Lutz Family Fundraiser. “This is on my bucket list – I enjoyed every second of it.” said Kelly Primack, 17, of Plainview.

The Lutz’s new home wasn’t the only place where hammering was taking place during the week. The Suffolk County Scouts Council played a huge role in getting the kids involved as well. The scouts and kids in the community were building birdhouses all week, then painting them with all sorts of messages and designs. Some had hearts, some had stars and stripes, some had “Lutz Family” written on them. All had the same purpose, the show support for the deserving Lutz family. While some of the kids kept their birdhouses to remember the incredible project they were able to be a part of, some gave theirs to the family as a housewarming gift and others were auctioned off at the Lutz Family Fundraiser during the week. Have you ever been involved in a community project similar to this?

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