Blankenship volunteers with TV show

Published 10:08 pm Thursday, February 19, 2009

Television often gets a back knock but sometimes it should get kudos.

Nick Blankenship is a prime example.

One of his favorite shows is ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The television show was Blankenship’s inspiration to get involved, first, with the Pike County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity and then as a volunteer for an “Extreme Makeover” in Montgomery this week.

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Blankenship was so impressed with the good things that “Extreme Makeover” does to provided better homes for very deserving people that, when he heard that an “Extreme Makeover” house would be built in Montgomery, he went online to volunteer.

“It was just something that I wanted to do,” Blankenship said. “Aronov Homes was chosen to construct the home and a lot of volunteers were needed. I went up on Tuesday and Wednesday and helped with packing up things from the house so that it could be demolished. I helped move things around and helped the crew get things set up. There were about 300 volunteers.”

Blankenship said he got to meet the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s design team and host Ty Pennington, “but only to shake his hand.”

“It was just exciting to be a part of it,” he said.

Montgomery residents Monica and Brady Jordan, their daughter and three grandchildren will be the recipients of the new home which will be constructed over the weekend and ready for the family on Monday.

“I have to work on Monday so I don’t know if I’ll get to go up there or not,” Blankenship said.

“I might go this weekend just to watch. There are so many volunteers, about 3,000, that they are having to schedule work times.”

Blankenship said the popularity of the television show is, perhaps, the main reason that so many people have volunteered.

“But I think that a lot of people just want to do something good for somebody,” he said.

“It’s a pretty emotional to see what these ‘Extreme Makeover’ families have gone through and how deserving they are of having a good place to live.”

The Jordans lost a daughter in 1995 to domestic violence and, eight years later, their son died at the hands of a drunk driver.

They are now strong advocates for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. They open their home each week to more than 100 young people who need a safe place to hang out.

Monica Jordan began working for the State of Alabama’s Crime Victims Commission and later became a prominent speaker for M.A.D.D. by holding meetings in their homes.

The “Extreme Makeover” experience fueled Blankenship’s desire to help make life better for deserving families. He is the maintenance technician at Troy Place and has enlisted the help of the employees in assisting with the construction of the 11th Pike County Habitat for Humanity home in late March.

“We had already signed on with Habitat before I had the opportunity to volunteer with ‘Extreme Makeover,’” Blankenship said.

“We are hoping that the residents of Troy Place will volunteer to work with Habitat on the house that will be built in Troy or make a donation to the local Habitat. It’s good to be a part of such worthy causes.”