Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Elves in Disguise Home Make-Over

Earlier this month, HGTV Design Star Contestant and breast cancer survivor Leslie Ezelle joined Elves in Disguise to complete a holiday home makeover for a South Dallas family in need. Leslie and her group of elves transformed each room of the bare Section 8 housing to look like a dwelling you see in the home and design magazines!

After weeks of secretive meetings, selfless volunteer work, and generous donations, over 150 volunteers ensured this special family would have a Christmas to remember. When the family returned to the home on December 9th for the surprise reveal, they could not believe their eyes.


Families apply for the Elves in Disguise holiday make-over by completing an extensive application process and meeting a long list of other criteria, including being enrolled in self-improvement courses or a sanctioned mentorship program and possessing a visible willingness to "pay it forward." Although the recipients know they will receive something substantial, the magnitude of the extreme home make-over is a surprise.

This year's family is headed by a single mother of four. Abused as a child and as a young woman, she persevered to finish high school and eventually obtain an associates degree. As life was looking up for this dedicated woman, she became widowed. Today each day is a new struggle as she tries to cope with her children's long list of health issues and learning disabilities. Feeling blessed to be in an apartment rather than a shelter, the family lived with little furnishings and slept on unclean mattresses with no linens. Her teenage son keeps a baseball bat nearby so that he may protect his mom and three sisters. All four children dream of finishing high school and going to college, and their mother's dreams of completing her own college take a back seat to theirs. Despite the family's desperate circumstances, the young mother has made it her personal mission to be the protector of the neighborhood children. She walks them to and from the bus even in foul weather, and she hosts safe movie nights and prayer meetings in her apartment.

After celebrating a successful tour of Leslie's latest design star — Ann-E Girl, the 14X13 foot metal bra in honor of breast cancer awareness, she is thrilled to be a part of another project that supports the empowerment of women.

Elves in Disguise is supported by New Hope Foundation and donations from the community. This year's goal is not only to complete the family's apartment but also to raise money to fund scholarships for the mother and two of her children. Event chairman is Foundation director Suzi Petroff, wife of New Hope President, Kip Petroff.

To learn more about the New Hope Foundation or to make a donation, please visit http://www.newhopefoundation.com/

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