Re: “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” will be in Buffalo, NY Nov. 7 to Nov. 14, 2009



I'm sure they build up the entire process and publicize it to hell, but it still comes down to a family in dire need. And very possibly, you might finish up with feeling great in the end. I can't envision any real problem.
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That would cause more problems that it solves. How much do you pay? Do you pay the unskilled volunteer as much as the pro? Who keeps track of all the people and time and expense of it all? All the materials are donated as is the labor, the builder's time etc. If not for ABC/Disney, it would not be possible at all to do this in the first place. There may be some legal entanglements also.
If you pay one volunteer $5, then you start a nasty chain reaction. Why should I donate material if they can pay the workers? What is wrong with giving some time anyway?
Sears and CVS seem to be two of the biggest donors and I commend them for it.
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wrote:

Aren't you leaving out one important fact? That fact is the needy family that gets the house.
Yup, all the businesses involved are profiting in some way. No argument about that. But, someone who needs it is also benefiting. The volunteers get a feeling of doing something good and everybody is happy. Compare that to those 'profiting' businesses just paying some corporate advertising agency and you're left with two outfits that profit and everybody else gets nothing. You tell me which is preferable? If it helps you, the Home Makeover show is less hypocritical than just two companies doing some advertising business.
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They are not actors, they are not usually on the "set" aside for a few. Paying them scale would put the project out of reach.

I don't know the actual number, but the volunteers are about 10X in numbers. More added burden. Ty mentioned tonight they have given 50,000 T shirts to date. Tha tis a lot of people to track and pay. Could easily at $10,000,000 total cost, maybe more.

Actually it is. I happen to be doing some business with one of the builders that did a house last season. The builde ris not paid, they donate. As the builder, he had to solicit materials from the suppliers or pay out of his pocket. He told me that he went to people like Pella and asked for a donation and the only info he could give at that time was the project was in thier sales territory. The actual location was not yet disclosed. I also know the company that did the paving in last weeks house in CT and Vinnie donated everything. My workman's comp insurance carrier is the same as used on the job sites also. They donate their time at the job site.

For the most part, yes. There is a lot of stuff donated and not given credit. See the above about the paving at the CT house. Vinnie's company was not mentioned at all, nor did they show his trucks, crew, or equiipment. I did not stop the final credits to see if there was a mention in the fine print, but the viewer did not see it just watching the show.

Sure it may be "possible" but have you seen it done? Neither have I.

The fact that I mention it means nothing. It is obvious to anyone watching hte show two times that they are heavily involved. That does not mean they are paid. Yes, there may be some promotional consideration, but I'm not privy to that, nor do I care.

I have no idea what they give or do not give. Do you have evidence of payment?

I bet if they said "here comes the well paid workers" the ratings would actually go down. Volunteering makes people feel good and people like to watch it.
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wrote:

Why not? You're not against capitalism, you're against extreme examples of capitalism? Volunteering or not, there's always somebody or some company that profits, usually big profits. Absolutely nothing new there. It happens all the time.
Taking an extreme example, a 'run for cancer'. Whether they're visible or not, there's always a dozen companies in the background who profit. At least with volunteering, the volunteers leave happy and feel like they've made a contribution. Ok, they're living under an illusion. Whatever you want to call it, *That's* their payment. Would you have all the volunteers instead be paid subsistence wages like the employees at a Walmart? Then they *would* feel used because they know when it comes to absolute value, their work is worth much more than Walmart wages.
I'm not quite sure what you're hung up on Mike, but it's your choice to feel that way. I'm just confused as to why you sound so angry about it.
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wrote:

Considering the limitations of this medium, I'll concede the fact that you might not be angry and I'm mistaken. BUT, your use of the word hypocrisy and milking it for ratings certainly doesn't mean you're dancing a jig of happiness. I think I can say without too much chance of error, that you've been very critical of the whole show, Disney in particular.
I think you'll agree that there's nothing new about companies making money, many times on the back of volunteers. With all the thousands of such instances happening daily in capitalist America, you appear to be selecting this instance out for singular criticism. That being said, I'll ask why one more time.
Please don't shout at me or berate me. I'm on the verge of tears again and I'm tired of crying. :)
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-MIKE- wrote:

They often have hundreds of volunteers on those jobs and SAG extras get $115/day, you're talking a lot of money. There is also the initiation fee for SAG which can run well over $2,000 for some locals, plus dues, plus adherence to a big fat union rulebook which covers a zillion things like travel and insurance and dressing rooms and meal breaks and on and on. And then there would be residual payments every time the EMHE episode was re-broadcast--all things considered making thousands of volunteers SAG members would be problematic, and if they're being paid then they would have to join the union.

Of course it's donated, that the major sponsors get plenty of on-air mention of their support doesn't alter the fact that nobody writes a check for the materials or whatever they contribute.

Yes, but so what? If you donate to a charity it's still a donation despite you being able to claim it on your taxes. That the donor gets some benefit doesn't mean it isn't a donation.

If it weren't such a public exercise they wouldn't attract the support they do. Sure, companies are getting publicity in exchange for their sponsorship and donations, but if that weren't happening then they wouldn't be making those donations and those houses for deserving families wouldn't be built. The bottom line for me is they're helping people who often deserve help, i.e. who have taken in handicapped kids or who are fighting to improve their community or whatever. So Sears and Ford and so on get some advertising value out of it, I'd rather have them sponsor this show than some idiot series about teen vampires or celebrities in rehab.
I have other problems with the show, like the excessive scale of many of the homes they build which has apparently led to some folks being unable to handle the greatly increased property taxes. I also preferred when they did some rebuilds rather than tear-downs, and they show so little construction these days that the house might as well have been rolled off the back of a truck already finished.
I also don't care for the totally phony premise that the family doesn't know they've been chosen until they hear their names being called over Ty's bullhorn--hogwash. If you pay attention you can occasionally see wireless mic packs on some family members as they run out of their old house screaming, obviously they already knew what was up. The audition tapes that went from being amateur to professional in quality are also suspicious. It's also clear that if the family is being sent outside the country on vacation while the house is being built then somebody had to make sure they had passports, they had to get time off work, demo and building permits needed to be pulled, materials ordered, professionals lined up, inspectors arranged, neighbors alerted in some cases--in whole the notion that the family is surprised to see that bus outside is not tenable. Still, I enjoy the show, it's nice to see a popular program that doesn't glorify unrestrained greed for a change.
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Most of the families need help. A few though, just seemed to negegted their own house and let it fall apart around them. I agree on the size too. The go from tiny to something huge to take care of.

According to my source, the family is told they are a finalist, one of three in the area that may be chosen. This allows the planning crew to have access. They may know before the bus pulls up, but only by a very short time. They have to meet certain guidlines in awarding the prize to be a charitable setup for the show.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I like it when they help families that have sacrificed their own comfort to help others. On the other hand the family that had ended up with a pile of kids because two divorced people got married and brought all their rug-rats with them--not so much.

Interesting, I hadn't heard that. I read an article about the show where Ty and the rest tried to stick to the story that it's all a surprise, and clearly it couldn't be. However they did explain those in-ear monitors Ty wears are so the producer can coach him on things to say while they're taping, helps keeps the emotions spontaneous and cuts costs so they don't have to re-shoot scenes.
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they pay the taxes and such for the first year. they also give them access to accountants, lifestyle coaches, etc and attempt to teach them how to deal with the good fortune as well as the mundane things (paying for utilities, upkeep, maintenance, etc). they've said that they keep a good eye on things for that first year, but after that....
there was a couple with a bunch of kids who had this done in gilbert az had a couple brushes with foreclosure, but finally went under a few months ago.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/08/29/20090829extremehome29.html
regards, charlie cave creek, az
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I've not asked him about that. He was the construction manager for the builder on the job. I did read a while back that the house is leased to the homeowner to get around the tax, but I don't know that for fact.
Do you think if you cannot afford to repair your 1000 sq. ft. house you can easily afford the utilities on a 4000 sq. ft. palace? And the taxes that go with it? Depending on where you live, I can see some of these places costing $1000+ a month just in real estate taxes and astronomical heating costs.
Some of the recipients certainly need help and are in trouble through no fault of their own. A few though, seemed so intent on doing some other charitable work that they just neglected to take care of the property they own. Of course, we never know all the details .
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