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Volunteers make over Raleigh family's home

Posted November 13, 2011
Updated November 14, 2011

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— A group of volunteers labored through the weekend to give the McLean family, of Raleigh, a complete home makeover using about $40,000 worth of materials – from the furniture to the landscaping – donated by local businesses.

Van and Terri McLean are blind. They have two children – a teenage son and a daughter with Down syndrome.

"The biggest challenge was to take care of my daughter with Down syndrome, (so) that she didn't get hurt on certain things," Van McLean said Sunday about the work needed on the family's small house on Brighton Road. But they couldn't afford to make repairs on their own.

That's where Designed to Care came in. The organization, started by realtor and interior decorator Shanna Middleton, gives home makeovers to deserving families. The McLean home was its first project.

"There are so many good people that are just so willing to help," Middleton said. "It has given me a renewed sense of community and love for your neighbor."

Raleigh family gets home makeover from Designed to Care Raleigh family gets home makeover from Designed to Care

The volunteers laid sod, painted furniture, installed granite counter tops and brand new appliances, built a deck and otherwise fixed up the home over the course of just three days. It went smoothly, Middleton said, if not a bit hectic at times.

"It's been okay. Alright, who am I trying to kid? It's been a little crazy," she joked.

For the McLeans, the project is life-changing.

"I'm just so overwhelmed and thankful," Terri McLean said.

Van McLean said he's excited to feel the finished product.

"I always like to feel new things," he said. "I may not be able to see the beauty, but I know it's going to be great."

17 Comments

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  • barbstillkickin Nov 15, 2011

    Sure wish I could apply for some volunteer workers to help me get out of my home. I would love to get my bathroom handicapped. I have one leg that works so I am stuck in this wheelchair and can not even go out side because the door will not allow my chair to go out of the back door. Maybe some day I will find out how this works. I am so thankful to watch people getting help for the conditions they are in it gives me hope in the country I love.

  • apnc2 Nov 14, 2011

    *Sigh* sometimes I fear for the general intelligence of the public at large. Simply click on the design to care link and then go to her sponser section. Ta Da the businesses that contributed.

  • Nancy Nov 14, 2011

    "Would be great to get a list of the businesses that donated items. I would love to choose those businesses over others as a way to enable them to continue being able to contribute." - angelienna

    Absolutely, wish the reporter bothered to get that information for the story - would have been great to know!

  • Nancy Nov 14, 2011

    "Actually OWS wants people to support local businesses. Business isn't bad, it's just out of control. How high are your ATM fees, and what do they pay for?" - babbleson

    So protesting in front of small businesses and blocking access for regular customers who don't want to breach the mobs is supportive of all those small businesses all over the country impacted by this stuff?

    And I bank at a credit union - do you have a problem with my banking habits? And why should it concern you?

  • redruby Nov 14, 2011

    Yeap all those greedy small business having a heart! Shame on them! They are ruining this country!

    Love you guys!!! You volunteers Rock!!

  • angelienna Nov 14, 2011

    Would be great to get a list of the businesses that donated items. I would love to choose those businesses over others as a way to enable them to continue being able to contribute. If I spend my money there, than maybe it downline will help more than just the company. Just a thought on keeping the private sector going.

  • Chairman of the Bored Nov 14, 2011

    I saw this story on the news last night, how wonderful!! And this family that received the help was truly just as wonderful.

  • babbleon Nov 14, 2011

    DONATED by local businesses, the capitalists, the evil greedy business owners. Nancy

    Actually OWS wants people to support local businesses. Business isn't bad, it's just out of control. How high are your ATM fees, and what do they pay for?

    Kudos to the people who put this together!

  • Citizens Arrayest Nov 14, 2011

    Good job Designed To Care !!! and good job to Shanna Middleton for pulling this event together. You might want to note that all of the companies that DONATED materials and efforts where small businesses, not big box store AND THESE FOLKS SHOULD BE SUPPORTED ! Maybe then they can do more. I have some work that needs to be done at my house and I know who I will be using now. Good WORK all volunteers !

  • OGE Nov 14, 2011

    Amen Mo Blues...how can anyone feel for those Occupy people trying to Squat in Chapel Hill.

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