With serious structural defects and deterioration, the Morris house was no longer suitable for the family and daycare. In cooperation with ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover, we were absolutely onboard with our expertise in building to facilitate the garage portion of this project.
To be selected as a building partner for the project was a great honor and opportunity for Sussel Builders to give something back to such a well deserving family such as the Morris’s. Our staff responsible for building the garage enjoyed the experience. The garage is going to be not only a place for the Morris’s car, but also serve as a storage area above for the many items that Sandy uses throughout the year for the daycare. The garage incorporated many unique materials and design elements that will serve Sandy well for many years.
The neighborhood and surrounding community benefit greatly from the loving care Sandy provides to neighboring families through her in-home daycare. We applaud her generosity and hope the makeover enables her to contribute in this way well into the future.
When Sandy Morris¹s daughter was born, Sandy left a high-paid job in the public school system to open a daycare within her home community. Now her crumbling home may force her to close the daycare that has become a center of community life and education.
Sandra, Mother, 39, Daycare provider, runs the daycare out of her home
Catricia, Daughter, 14, 10th grade, involved in Youth Apprenticeship
Program and Peace Jam. Loves to dance and help out in the daycare.
Mychal, Son, 12, 7th grade, helps his mom in the day care, involved in
Youth Guides, loves wrestling and playing Basketball and Football
Fourteen years ago, Sandy was pregnant with her first child and working as an early childhood teacher in the Saint Paul public school system, on track to become a highly-paid administrator. When Sandy looked at her daycare options, she realized there weren’t any that met her standards, so she quit her job and started her own in the community where she’d grown up. Most high quality daycares were too expensive for Sandy’s neighbors, so Sandy found ways to run her daycare at a lower cost. She charges just enough to support herself and her family. If local families go through a financial rough patch, Sandy puts them on payment plans and assures them that they can pay whatever they can afford at the time. Sometimes it’s a financial loss
to Sandy but she refuses to turn them away. Sandy uses what she learned as a teacher to make her daycare the best it can be, teaching in both English and Spanish. Everyone knows that Sandy could open the same daycare in a wealthy suburb and charge a great deal more than she does- the quality is so high that even the Mayor of Saint Paul sent his son to Sandy!
A Hispanic American with parents coming from Puerto Rico, she brings both her language and her culture of togetherness into the daycare. The kids call her “Tia Sandy,” meaning aunt, and the parents who send their kids to Sandra¹s house truly feel like a part of the family. She believes that children learn through work and play, so she focuses on a lot of interaction and socializing. She provides meals, has group time and art time. Sandra not only runs her daycare, but also spends time volunteering at El Arco Iris, a summer dance club for kids. After class, Sandra has the kids over at her house, free of charge, to have lunch and play until their parents get home from work. Each summer the director of the program presents Sandra with a special award, recognizing
her hard work in the community.
Following in their mother’s footsteps, Catricia and Mychal have spent their summers doing community outreach. Catricia participates in the Youth Apprenticeship Program and “Peace Jam,” an exclusive youth outreach group that only accepts 20 students per year. She helps to plan fun events for local kids to combat violence in the area. Mychal recently joined “Youth Guides”, a planning committee to get events off the ground such as dances and camps.
Sandy runs her daycare out of the 100+ year old home her parents bought when they moved to Minnesota. The roof leaks every time it rains, causing holes in the walls and ceilings. The foundation is sinking, the porch is separating from the house, and many of the support beams are cracking. The numerous repairs needed to make the home structurally safe now threaten to shut down
Sandy¹s daycare and to remove a pillar of this vibrant, supportive, multicultural community.
SPECIFICS OF HOME
3 Story House
3 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,314
LOT SIZE: 0.16 acres
Do you know a deserving family who desperately needs a home makeover?
Perhaps it's your family? If you would like to nominate your own family or another, then print out this application and send it in, along with a
video and/or pictures! The Extreme Makeover team could be coming to your neighborhood!
Lock & Key Productions
C/O Family Casting
Los Angeles, CA 90038