Extreme Makeover: Home Edition helps out Katrina victims

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When Hurricane Katrina hit the US Gulf Coast, many houses were swept away or destroyed. One house that weathered the storm was built by the ABC reality show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The house, just 10 miles from the devastated city of New Orleans, sustained major flood damage but was still standing. Now, the show will return to the home and perform some much-needed repairs, ABC News reported Wednesday.

In an episode that aired in April, 2005, the Extreme team made over the home of a widow and her three surviving children after her husband and oldest son were killed in a car accident. The home included a backyard playground built with help from freestyle bike champ Mat "The Condor" Hoffman.

"As home builders we're proud [the house stood]. As human beings, we're pretty horrified by [Katrina's] devastation," said Ty Pennington, the shows carpenter and breakout star.

As the Extreme team makes its way back toward the flood-damaged house, they are helping out needy victims who have been displaced by the savage storm. Pennington says the show is "leading a convoy with one of our sponsors. [We're] heading down to the shelters with sleeping bags, generators, things that they need."

Pennington said he hopes the show inspires more people to help out the needy, especially in the Gulf Coast.

"When people come together, amazing things really can happen," he said. "In this situation, we should lead by example and actually do what we can."

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is part of a new trend in reality shows that focuses on uplifting topics such as helping the needy. While Makeover builds houses for the poor and tragedy-wracked, Pennington himself is a national spokeperson for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), with which he is diagnosed. NBC's new reality show Three Wishes, starring Amy Grant, will grant the heart's desire of three lucky people each week. In The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, the domestic guru helps hopeful contestants actualize their arts-and-craft dreams, and in America's Next Top Model, supermodel Tyra Banks inspires beautiful young women to pose for uplifiting photographs.

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