Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Minnesota Style

Most people have seen  Extreme Makeover: House Edition on ABC. If you haven't seen it, chances are you are you have heard about it at some point. It's known for it's week long renovation of a family's home as it usually completed demolished, redesigned, rebuilt and lives are completely transformed. It's an incredible and moving show to watch as you see fathers and mothers of child crumble to the ground in tears after seeing their own brand new house for the first time. It's moving to see disabled children and war veterans be given the opportunity to live a normal life with the necessary equipment provided for them. Equipment they would never have been able to purchase on their own. However, rarely do people - as in you and me- actually get to see something as magnificent as the simple outpouring of love and generosity to a family in need right in their own backyard. Rarely do we get the opportunity to participate, whether through monetary giving or giving up some time to help raise the walls or nail shingles on a house.

This fall, that all changed for our little community in Maple Plain, Minnesota.

Meet Rick and Karen Sampson. An incredible couple who give hours upon hours of their time at Maple Plain Community Church as they work in the kitchen, often starting 5am to prepare meals for various events. From Awana dinners to the Mens' breakfasts, the Sampsons are probably behind the scenes. They are also actively involved in the community helping at the local food shelf, driving those around who either do not have a car or cannot drive any longer, or  .  Despite serious health concerns, the Sampsons are an incredible couple that is always seeking to give. Despite prostate cancer, heart problems, surgeries, respiratory issues and other concerns, the couple continues to give and serve the community.

Meet the house. For 21 years, the Sampsons have lived in their home. The original house was a 24x22 cabin built in the 1920. Since then a two story addition was put on in the early 2000's. For 12 of those 21 years, the roof has been leaking, allowing a partition of the house to begin to rot. The leaking roof allowed in water, which in turn created the perfect atmosphere for black mold. Last but not least, the original part of the house never had a foundation to sit on and hold it firmly in place. All in all, these conditions were not favorable for the Sampsons and their health conditions.

Meet Operation KARE. Once Maple Plain Community Church members learned about the house conditions along with the mounting health concerns, action had to be taken. A group of seven people began planning and organizing what would be Operation KARE. Meeting once a week over coffee, the meeting of minds has driven the project and enabled the Maple Plain community to give back to a family who has given so much despite health concerns. One of the driving forces behind the project, Justin McCoy shared some of his thoughts in a recent interview..."Everything so far has fallen into place," said McCoy. "We have faith that will continue." They plan to have everything completed for the Sampsons to move back into their home by December 1.

Meet Your Part. While the deadline is closing in, there are still opportunities to help out, especially financially. If you are interested and would love to help out this serving couple so intricately connected to the Maple Plain community: 
Send financial contributions to
Operation KARE
6250 Highway 12
Maple Plain, Minn., 55359

If you live in the area and want to volunteer opportunities,
e-mail Justin McCoy at mccjus@gmail.com

Check out another article about Operation KARE:  
Lending a Helping Hand
By Gail Lipe

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