What a GREAT morning! We just completed our first Nationwide and Palm Harbor Homes Pep Rally for the Extreme Makeover Volunteers in the Central Georgia Community. What a GREAT group of people we get to work with!
Dan Goodin , Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Nationwide Homes, kicked it off by explaining how we became involved as well as some logistics for the next few days. Then I (Maury Kennedy, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Palm Harbor Homes) reminded everyone the real reason all of this is taking place. It’s not for the cameras or TV ratings or Hollywood heros. This is all about a deserving family in desperate need of a better place to call home. I started by reminding the man in the mirror (ME!) because I have had a tendency to forget. It becomes such an overwhelming “job” to plan and coordinate all the moving parts that I almost lost sight of the real meaning. My 10 year old son Reece reminded me that it’s about helping a family in need. Of course, I couldn’t leave without also bragging about being a true Braves fan and the only member of the team to have ever eaten a hot dog at Varsity (I lived in the Atlanta area for five years right out of college – good to be back).
Then the Senior Producer Milan Vassic told the history of Extreme Makeover Home Edition and explained that their process of building a home is done in just 104 hours! It is TRULY an around the clock endeavor – from start to finish. The perception of some people is that because it is such a large television production backed by ABC, a huge television network partnering up with a large homebuilder that all of this is easy to plan, coordinate and complete. The truth I learned at this Pep Rally is that this entire event is ONLY possible thru the help and support and HARD WORK of the volunteers! Without them, This amazing home gift simply will not happen.
We need skilled labor but we also need people who are just willing to do anything that needs to be done. We need donations but we also need people wanting to get their hands dirty. We need people who love the show but we also need people who simply want to help a deserving family. We need people who live in the area but we also need people who are willing to travel. Basically, we need anybody and everybody willing to do the hard work of charity – work that rewards way beyond any other type of work.
So – grab a hammer, lace up your workboots (or buy some. I got mine at WalMart for $20) and head to central Georgia for a life-changing experience – for you and for the recipient family. And if you work really, really hard, I highly recomend rewarding yourself with one chili dog at Varsity on the way home 🙂