Once again Kim’s Upholstery has  pleasure of  being a part of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition team.

Kim Chagnon of Kim's Upholstery at the site of theExtreme Makeover Home Edition for the Walker family in Springfield MA.

Ready for action.

A few years ago I worked on a home in Maynard MA, but this time it was in my own back yard.  The Walker family in Springfield MA were the deserving family  this time around.   Having been severely bullied by his peers, 11 year old Carl Walker took his own life in 2009.

I received an email from Margie Nance who is an educator in the window treatments industry asking for volunteers to work with Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  Of course being a gluten for punishment and  wanting to do my part in helping others, I said yes.   Next I was contacted by Ann Cummings and Elaine Glynn of the EMHE team to find out who my contact designer would be and when I was needed.  Myself, Becky Rose,  Gail Maciorowski and several  members of the WCAA (Window Coverings Association of America) headed to Springfield MA to meet with the design team and find out what their needs for the build were. In past projects I have done  with EMHE, I made drapes. This time it was to be different. When they looked at our company name, ‘Kim’s Upholstery‘ they asked us to do a few upholstery and bedding projects.

When you approach the site of one of these makeovers it is an overwhelming feeling of compassion and team spirit.  The first thing you see is rows and rows of   trailers and RV’s.  These are the sleeping quarters and offices of the EMHE team for the duration of the project. It can be quite a challenge to find a place to park near the site.

Kim's Upholstery delivery van parked on the street near the site of t Sirdeaner Walkers home.

Lucky enough to get a parking space across the street from the build.

Volunteers are plentiful in number.  A check point is set up for volunteers to register and get their T-shirts and hard hats.   From there you go to the predetermined meeting point with your contact person, in my case the design team. At this point the house has been torn down and a foundation is in its place ready for the structure to begin.

Meeting and working with the design team was really a great experience.  It is nothing like working with your traditional client.  The designs are somewhat determined as well as potential fabrics, which have not been obtained at this point.   Once the details have been laid for the designs the design team is off and running to get the fabrics necessary for fabrication to begin.   Local vendors are one source, but the team also has other vendors that will ship fabrics in a speedy manner in order to get us all working.  This may take a few trips back and forth until you have everything you need to complete the project.

We met with the design team on Monday, we were given our fabrics on Thursday and now its time for me and my team,  Becky Rose and Gail Maciorowski to begin the fabrication and upholstering. Our task was the bedding for Gloria’s room.   Other members of my WCAA chapter were doing window treatments and other accessories.   The bedroom we helped with had an upholstered twin size bed which included a headboard, foot board and side rails.  These were to be tufted in a candy pink colored fabric.  There were also multiple pillows, a duvet cover and geometric gymnastic cubes which were to be slip covered in a fun purple fabric.  Having only two days to complete our task, along with our normal work days, it was a mad rush. We put in two very long nights and much of the day Saturday.

Now it is Saturday evening, the night before the reveal.    We were asked to arrive with our finished items at around 5:00pm.   As we approach our designated location  all we see is hundreds of volunteers  busily working at their assigned tasks.  After hours with no sleep they are all still smiling and in very happy spirits.  It is an awesome feeling to be part of something that is so rewarding.  As is typical with any project of this size, it is now 9:30pm and we are still not able to install our completed items due to other projects still happening in our room.   So we help with painting frames for family photo’s to be hung in the Walker home.  Sign marking location of the art world crew at Extreme Makeover Home Edition in Springfield MAAnything to help!

There are round the clock coffee trucks and food stations to keep all the busy workers well nourished and fueled with energy.

Kim and Gail with a lady from the coffee truck at the site of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition  for the Walker family.

Thanks for the coffee.

Today is Sunday and the family is due to return to their new home.    Would I do this again you ask?  YES without a doubt!

Extreme Makeover Home Edition build in progtess for the l Walker family in Springfield MA.

Work in progress

The show aired on Friday December 3rd almost 3 months after the project was completed.  This one was a 2 hour special.  So with a box of tissues and a feeling of pride knowing that I helped one family move forward and hopefully begin to heal from the pain they have had to endure,  I watched EMHE and the Walker family.

The website “Stand Together” was formed in support of  Sirdeaner Walker’s efforts to end bullying! Please join today and help spread the word that we will not tolerate bullying.Kim of Kim's Upholstery in Stand Together photo.

Bill of Kim's Upholstery in Stand Together photo.