Extreme Makeover: Home Edition's Michael Moloney on the Dunning Family
This week we are in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for the Dunning family: Dale, her husband Ken and their son Brooks. There's not a family that I could think of that more exemplifies the spirit of Thanksgiving. Dale and Ken have been providing meals for thousands of people through the years, cooking food out of their own little kitchen, and going to a local church and serving the food there.
Dale and Ken have been together for over 35 years and they're still madly in love, which is a beautiful thing. To see the way that Ken supports Dale is just amazing. This soup kitchen is her mission. It's her calling, to feed people, to take care of people, to see a need and then to make sure that it's fulfilled. It's just amazing to see Ken support her in every way. He works three jobs, sometimes four, to put food on their table and pay their bills, as well as take care of all the people who need their help.
When you look at the way Ken and Dale have been operating, it's just fascinating. She gets up at 2 a.m. in the morning, starts preparing soup on one of her four burners, and once the soup is ready, Dale wakes up Ken. Ken gets the soup, loads it into their RV, drives it down to the church, unloads it and then it's ready to be served. The amount of time that they're spending just going back and forth and loading and unloading is crazy. What we want to do is put them in a place where they can do all of this at once and everyone can come to them. Hopefully they can actually take care of more people, and have a little bit better quality of life themselves.
What's really exciting is that this week we're not only building them a beautiful home, but we're going to completely reinvent what they call, Jusst Sooup. Their new soup kitchen is going to have a full commercial kitchen, a place where people can come and relax, hang out together, come in from the storm if you will, and receive a warm meal and share some time with friends.
Along with all of the exciting things going on with the build Paige and I were invited to come up to New York City, to play Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with Meredith Vieira. I've loved the show forever so I was so excited to come. The goal is to raise money for Jusst Sooup. We have the opportunity to win up to $1 million and it's pretty crazy even thinking about what that amount could really do for them. Think about how many tummies they could fill and how many smiles they could put on people's faces. That's as good as Thanksgiving can get.
Through the seasons we've built in all kinds of weather but this project we were up against something we've never had to face before. We're right in the midst of the build and find out that that we actually are going to have to evacuate because we were right in the midst of the hurricane. To be building something for somebody and to see the hours and love that's been put into it by the entire community and to think that that could be taken down, in a matter of minutes is really kind of heart wrenching. Everybody had that same sort of knot in their stomach, wondering if everything was going to be there when we get back. We have to pack up and move 30 miles inland just to keep safe. It was scary and everyone was thinking we really need to get this house done for the family. Thankfully it all worked out in the end and huge props to our amazing build team at Schell Brothers who really led the charge and made sure that we stayed on track despite the obstacles.
This week was really all about sharing, about giving and really being grateful. The one thing this show has taught me is to be grateful. I'm grateful that I have this job. I'm grateful for my family, my friends, and my health and for all of you out there who really support our efforts and make sure that we can continue doing what we're doing week after week. A happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there and I hope you're able to share it surrounded by your loved ones!