Greetings, my name is Didiayer Snyder. It is my pleasure to share with you about this past week's episode.
Upon receiving the news that I had been chosen to join the design team on
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
, I felt the immediate warmth of joy in my heart. To have arrived at a platform of such grandeur, much like the families for which the show exists, I was beside myself.
Having found such an optimal outlet for which to express my compassion for others, and at the same time effectively employ my skills as a designer and carpenter helping make someone else's life less burdensome, truly allows me to feel as if
the one receiving.
Set along the Atlantic Ocean, the town of Milbridge, Maine, boasts some of the most breathtaking views and the best lobster bisque in the world. It's the type of town one dreams of raising a family in. A picturesque location many long to visit and explore.
For this episode, I joined team leader Ty Pennington and team designers Paul DiMeo, Eduardo Xol, and John Littlefield in a race against time to help transform the lives of one very deserving family. Ron and Brittany Ray-Smith and their three children Bayley, Thomas and little Jo-Jo had no idea we were on our way!
At first glance, the Ray-Smith's 100-year-old home looked comfortable in its setting. However, upon closer inspection I could see exactly why Ty brought us here. The family has been dealing with many structural and hazardous issues. For instance, a failing septic tank and furnace, a leaking roof that has led to water damage, as well as antiquated piping and wiring. Oh, and not to forget a few ghosts that have no problem making their presence known!
Upon meeting the Ray-Smith's, it was obvious that parents Ron and Brittany are doing a wonderful job of raising their growing family. Both are school teachers and over the years have helped improve the lives of many students and families in their community. But despite their zest for life, Ron and Brittany are dealing with more than structural struggles. Ron and their eldest child Bayley both have Hyperlipidemia (extremely high cholesterol) and their second child Thomas suffers with Autism. It's been hard for the family for some time now due to their collapsing house and medical bills in the thousands of dollars. So, I was glad when Ty finally said, "Good morning, Ray-Smith family."
Ty and I ripped through the home salvaging any wood we could recycle for the new house. I even got creative and took some of Bayley's pink bedroom flooring for my building projects. You¹ll have to tune in to see what we did with the materials we reclaimed from the house!
Building the Ray-Smith's new home would not of been possible without the commitment of Broughman Builders, Inc. Mike and Daisy Wight of Ellsworth Maine (owners of Broughman builders) have been in business for over thirty years and are highly respected in the building industry. Without them, their committed team members and the large number of volunteers we had, none of this would have been possible. In fact, I think the whole town of Milbridge was out there supporting us as we raced against the clock. I felt such an overwhelming sense of gratitude towards all the men and women who worked with us through the rain and muddy conditions. I can't emphasize enough how valuable each and every volunteer and community member was on this build. They were all heroes in my eyes. Because of them, the Ray-Smith family now has a beautiful Bostonian house they can call home for generations to come.
I am so honored to be apart of a show that helps change the course of family's lives. My heart is filled with such joy when I think of the human spirit and how alive it is in this great nation. It's the most gratifying feeling to stand out the front of someone's home and say, "We are here for you."
What we achieve in a week is quite remarkable. Not only do we provide families with a safe place to call home, we create memories that last a lifetime. This memorable feeling also reaches beyond the gates of the family's house. It touches towns and motivates people to pull together to make a greater difference in their own communities.
Never have I been so moved by my skills as a designer and carpenter until the day I saw the look on the Ray-Smith's families faces when they saw their new home for the first time. There is nothing more fulfilling then to be doing what it is you love and then to see others benefit from it so greatly.
It was an incredible day for the Ray-Smith family and for the community of Milbridge, Maine.
If you would like to find out how you can help people like the Ray-Smith family in your community, log on to
I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed being apart of the "
family" for the first time!
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
airs Sundays at 8 pm/ET.