There are some major changes coming to The Children's Home, a foster care facility in Catonsville, thanks to ABC2 News and several more local businesses.
The program is called Built Upon a Dream. It was inspired by the ABC show “Extreme Makeover, Home Edition.”
When employees from Thompson Creek Windows arrived at the gymnasium on The Children’s Home’s 44-acre campus, they were surprised by what they saw.
“These windows are terrible. Single pane old aluminum windows, there's lead paint there. We've got to use lead-safe work practices to clean these things up. They're not getting proper ventilation in there,” said Rick Wuest of Thompson Creek Windows.
But now, The Children's Home has a newly rebuilt pavilion, a new dining hall, new roofing on several of the buildings, new landscaping and much more.
“I thought it was a prank call,” said Andre Cooper, the Children’s Home CEO. “I got this call in the middle of the morning one day that said, you know hey- we'd like to come out and do an extreme makeover project."
The call earlier this year was no prank. It was Belinda Lee from ABC2's sales department, pitching the idea of Built Upon a Dream.
Not long after that, construction started.
“We want to make sure that our facilities are up to date. We want to make sure that we're providing quality services and all the things that came from Built Upon a Dream have helped us to do that,” Cooper said.
Hundreds of boys and girls ages 13-21 pass through The Children's Home every year -- often at-risk youths who need mental health services after experiencing childhood trauma.
“While they're here we want to make this a home for them,” Cooper said.
And the donations of time, expertise and materials made the dream a reality.
“We design, build and install replacement windows so it was a natural fit. We get to do what we do best and help these kids that need it the most,” Wuest said. “For us to be able to give back to the community that supports us really feels great.”
The total value of all the goods and services donated by the local companies to this project was more than $500,000.