Another Feel Good Story

MA-Caver

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Deaf 'Extreme Makeover' couple gets financial aid

Mon Dec 15, 6:01 AM PST
http://tv.yahoo.com/show/36736/news...081215:extreme_makeover_foreclosure__ER:50545
Several thousand dollars have rolled in for a deaf Michigan couple who feared they were going to lose the home whose renovation was viewed by millions on TV in 2004.
Judy and Larry Vardon say the money should help them avoid foreclosure on the Oakland County home that was refurbished to better accommodate their blind, autistic son. The family was featured on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
<snip>

The Vardons said they were weighed down by a mortgage payment that almost doubled since the makeover, and by medical insurance that hasn't covered autism treatment for 16-year-old son Lance.
Glad that the family got the help that they needed.
Glad that folks were able to help out. Hopefully it'll be enough for the family to get back on their feet.
 

shesulsa

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Why did their mortgage payment double? I thought the house was given? They must have had to get a second mortgage to pay for treatment.

I'm glad they got help, though.
 

Rich Parsons

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Why did their mortgage payment double? I thought the house was given? They must have had to get a second mortgage to pay for treatment.

I'm glad they got help, though.


I heard rumors that the house was given.

They went out and borrowed against the house to get more "things".
I have no links to show that though. :(

I had not heard about treatment, but one can hope it was for a good cause.
 

jks9199

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I know there was one case where the family borrowed against the house to start a business, which then failed... Don't know if it's the same family, though.

I don't know how the work the costs of the house... but every one of these is a drastic boost in home value. Which would be accompanied by a tax increase. Depending on how much of a difference in the assessment -- and in a few cases, it'd be a very big difference, very easily... Yeah, I could see things doubling.
 

celtic_crippler

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Glad that the family got the help that they needed.
Glad that folks were able to help out. Hopefully it'll be enough for the family to get back on their feet.

I'm happy for them, really.....

....BUT....

...what about all the other families in the same situation?

Not trying to be a "kill-joy"...just pointing out that while this story may make you feel good for a while, it doesn't change the underlying causes that put this family in this position.

Taking for granted that they had no responsibility in being in this position, and that it's due to the horrible economy, horrible medical insurance situation, and plumetting home values....

...It just points out that these issues need to be taken seriously and that we need our leadership to be proactive in resolving these issues and much more proactive in preventing them from happening in the first place. Our leaders are notorious for waiting till the proverbial poo has hit the fan and been spattered all over the place before even considering picking up a paper towel to clean it!
 

Gordon Nore

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I'm happy for them, really.....

....BUT....

The stories on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are very touching. Beneath it all, I find, the message of the show is that good-hearted volunteers and the private sector charity can solve our problems. They do -- for the twenty-six (or however many episodes they run) families they help each season. Invariably the families are good-natured and properly grateful for this largesse.

I never seen on this show what I see most every day, which are parents and families who've been chewed up and spat out, and have lost all sense of hope. They don't own a house that someone can restore -- they spend a thousand bucks a month to live in a high rise that hasn't been re-painted or carpeted in two decades. They would love to have a wonderful family room, with a plasma screen, to spend time together, but even if they had it, they're still working multiple jobs to keep a roof over their head. When they go outside, they don't see a manicured yard, they see broken glass and garbage on the streets.

The generosity is nice, and the fact that neighbours pitch in is great, but there's a glazed unreality to it, watching this on a Sunday evening. "Just imagine if everybody helped one family like that." The show is a lottery; it's a game show. It's selling a fantasy, and it carefully selects a kind a of 'deserving poor' that its audience can fawn over like little kittens.
 
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MA-Caver

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The stories on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are very touching. Beneath it all, I find, the message of the show is that good-hearted volunteers and the private sector charity can solve our problems. They do -- for the twenty-six (or however many episodes they run) families they help each season. Invariably the families are good-natured and properly grateful for this largesse.

I never seen on this show what I see most every day, which are parents and families who've been chewed up and spat out, and have lost all sense of hope. They don't own a house that someone can restore -- they spend a thousand bucks a month to live in a high rise that hasn't been re-painted or carpeted in two decades. They would love to have a wonderful family room, with a plasma screen, to spend time together, but even if they had it, they're still working multiple jobs to keep a roof over their head. When they go outside, they don't see a manicured yard, they see broken glass and garbage on the streets.

The generosity is nice, and the fact that neighbours pitch in is great, but there's a glazed unreality to it, watching this on a Sunday evening. "Just imagine if everybody helped one family like that." The show is a lottery; it's a game show. It's selling a fantasy, and it carefully selects a kind a of 'deserving poor' that its audience can fawn over like little kittens.
Your cynical assessment of the show is one that I can agree with but it does send a message of hope... and people WANT to feel good and watch that show for that reason. Seeing someone in desperate straits and they get helped out sometimes overwhelmingly so. It pulls on the heart strings and just makes you feel good in general. It's also a helluva plug for the Home Depots and Sears which contribute heavily to the show.
That they carefully select those families out of all those who send in their tapes... yeah it's a lottery alright but in a way it's a good lottery. It's what you DO with it that counts.
Yet underlying indeed is the ... what about the neighbors down the street or yes, the ones living in run-down rented homes or duplexes or housing projects? Unfortunately the show cannot do anything for those who rent because it would ONLY benefit the landlords who would justifiably raise the rent because of all the nice stuff that's been done.
Habitat for humanity is a good cause... taking people out of the rented slums and putting them in their own homes.

Thing is... they still aren't given what they need if they don't have it. A means to keep their home and in some cases a better job for the main breadwinner of the family (wife or husband). Some folks have squandered their gift horses by kicking them in the mouth and getting that mortgage that they cannot afford or try to sell the home (as one family tried doing I believe... shameful... or is it?).

Who knows what the creators of the show's original intent was. Does it really matter though? Were they hoping that more organizations, foundations, charities would be inspired and try to do the same? Or were they simply riding high on a great advertising gimmick? The contractors in the town shure get a boost in advertising showing their expertise in building a new house from scratch in one week. Of course who could afford to pay a contractor to work 24/7 ? Well maybe they can get that kitchen redone in a week at least. That's the idea isn't it?

Either way... that folks pulled together to help this family is the gist of this thread. They probably know that it was a one in a million long shot that this family got chosen and was given a great home and a better means of having some dignity after humbling themselves on national t.v. (???)

They pulled together and helped out... that's what's important in my book.
 

Gordon Nore

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Either way... that folks pulled together to help this family is the gist of this thread. They probably know that it was a one in a million long shot that this family got chosen and was given a great home and a better means of having some dignity after humbling themselves on national t.v. (???)

They pulled together and helped out... that's what's important in my book.

Fair enough.

I'm not unmoved by people helping others. I think it's outstanding. I point out that this type of charitable endeavour is highly selective.

The updated story if this families terrible woes is eery in the current employment and economic situation. I found another link, by way of IMDb.com. What's happening to this family now is darkly familiar if we look at some of the topics we've been posting about, and some of the worries that members on this forum have.

The Extreme Makeover team renovated the Vardon's 980-square foot house near Detroit to make is safer for their 16-year-old son, Lance. After the makeover, the couple refinanced their mortgage, and since then their monthly payments have nearly doubled to $2,300.

They also have debts of more than $20,000 due to Lance&#8217;s therapy, and are worried that Larry may lose his job at a Chrysler plant amid the economic crisis. "We didn't have bad spending habits," Judy Vardon said. "My husband got laid off for a time, and insurance wouldn't cover Lance's autism therapy and some other things like his vision and special dental work."

Judy says she remains grateful to the Extreme Makeover team for their help and that the family is working with a non-profit group to help negotiate a lower mortgage rate. "We're a close family that loves each other," she said. "I feel that I was given this life to show others that you can face these challenges."
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20245129,00.html?xid=rss-fullcontent

It's a trifecta of misery:

  • He's an auto worker, naturally worried about his job
  • Their health insurance comes up short on treating a blind, Autistic child
  • The only place they could turn to was a bank, which screwed them
 
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