Say what you want about “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” — it’s the best show on TV, it’s the cheesiest show on TV, it’s uplifting, it’s emotionally exploitive — but it’s here in York County, and people are excited.
We’ve been covering the build every day since Ty Pennington and the crew knocked on the Keefer family‘s door on Sunday, but my first chance to go to the site wasn’t until the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Reporter Kevin and I arrived at an elementary school parking lot, where all volunteers and media sign in and take a shuttle to the build, just before 2 a.m. Our goal: To report on what it’s like for volunteers to work the overnight shift at the build. Due to various logistical happenstances, however, we couldn’t get cleared to actually go to the build. It was either go home or stick around — but for what?
We did what the Philmont rangers do — “Scramble, be flexible” — and stuck around. For the first half-hour or so, we hoped to get in touch with one of our contacts and, thus, get cleared to go to the build. But soon we decided to focus instead on what it’s like for volunteers to work the overnight shift at the sign-in tent.
When you step back and think about it, building or renovating a house in one week is a pretty big task that requires a lot of manpower and coordination every hour of every day. And when the vast majority of your manpower consists of volunteers — well, you need a team of volunteers just to coordinate the other volunteers. That’s what happens at this tent in the Red Mill Elementary School parking lot: Registration and traffic control.
And a little fun, too, sometimes.
And, for some, a bit of a wait:
Kevin and I did eventually hear back from both our contacts later in the morning, but we stuck with our “scramble” story and never did go to the build.
- Kevin’s story: “Extreme Makeover” overnight: Volunteers sacrifice sleep
- My video: Extreme Makeover’s overnight volunteers
- The paper’s coverage of the whole event
Coming up next: My second consecutive overnight shift. Extreme? Fittingly!