Volunteers make over Raleigh family's home
Posted November 13, 2011
Updated November 14, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — 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."
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."