Best Builder of Dreams

With hugs and hammers, television's Ty Pennington and the "Extreme Makeover" team turn houses into homes.

from Reader's Digest Magazine | May 2005

 If you’re not one of 16 million people who regularly watch ABC’s prime-time reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, here’s how it works: Families across the country submit letters and videotapes in which they explain in detail why they need the show’s help. Each week, one family is chosen and the Extreme team, led by high-voltage contractor-host Ty Pennington, reviews their plight, then rides to the rescue.

“It’s not about us building a home,” Ty says. “It’s about us helping the family and getting to know the family.” The families that Ty, and America, have gotten to know — a widowed mom left with two young children and a struggling farm to run; deaf parents with a blind autistic 12-year-old whose words they can’t hear; a single mom raising three adopted, HIV positive daughters — show that need can be defined in many ways, but the urge to help is a potent and universal force.

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