PALMDALE — If you haven’t lent a hand in building two houses for local veterans and their families as part of the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” television show filming in Palmdale this week, you still have time to volunteer.
The project is seeking volunteers from across the Valley to help as the build nears the finish line on Friday.
No special skills or experience are needed as there are tasks for everyone, from landscaping to handing out water, moving furniture to cheerleading.
Registration is available through the Homes 4 Families website, www.homes4families.org, or by simply checking in at the build site at Avenue R and Division Street.
Volunteers will be given the distinctive blue “Extreme Makeover” T-shirts to wear and directed to a task.
“It’s not unusual for us to see over 1,000 people come to a job site, put on a blue T-shirt and help us with this process,” Producer Milan Vasic said during an introductory rally last week. “We’re going to need your help. It takes the whole community to make this happen.”
Today and Thursday, volunteers are also needed at the project’s design warehouse to assemble and move furniture.
The community is also invited to the culmination of the project on Friday afternoon, when the finished houses are revealed to their new owners for the first time with the cry of “Move that bus!” that the show made famous.
On Aug. 24, the show introduced the two families who will live in the duplex, part of Home 4 Families’ veteran enriched neighborhood which will eventually have 56 homes.
Mario Merlos and Ernest Olivares and their families will be the first residents of the neighborhood when they move into the homes built this week. They are already best friends and share ownership of a dog.
“We celebrate heroes,” Vasic said. “If we can make a difference for one or two families like that, then that impact goes and goes and goes, it carries it forward.”
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” originally aired for nine seasons on the ABC Television Network from 2003 to 2012. It is returning, this time on HGTV, with actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson from “Modern Family” as the host.
The same production company that previously produced the show for ABC is back again, bringing a number of experienced team members to the project.
The City of Palmdale has worked closely with the show’s producers and Homes 4 Families on the project in order to facilitate the construction within the short timeframe. Without compromising requirements, the city has expedited processes and will have a building inspector on site throughout the build to quickly provide approvals.