TWO families, TWO communities, ONE life-changing project

February 25, 2010
The American Red Cross has been partnering with ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to make blood drives part of the home building experience in communities around the country. In mid-January SWR Oklahoma officials learned that the program would be coming to Oklahoma to change the life of one family and help bring awareness to the on-going need for blood. The location remained a well kept secret and Red Cross was approached by Norman's Ideal Homes to begin preparing for EMHE blood drives. Ideal Homes set an ambitious goal of 800 units of blood raised in three weeks and ending on "reveal" Sunday. Red Cross scheduled drives from Oklahoma City to Purcell and points in between and the wonderful folks in these locations caught EMHE fever.  During a press conference with the family in attendance, the Red Cross was proudly able to announce 832 total donors for the Ideal Homes/EMHE blood drives!
Shortly after of the Norman Extreme Makeover: Home Edition notification, Simmons Homes announced that a lucky Tulsa family would also be the recipient of a wonderful new home, and yet another plan was put into place for EMHE blood drives, this time in Tulsa.  Tulsa's build would actually occur one week ahead of the Norman area build so SWR went into EMHE overdrive. Blood drives were set in Tulsa at the staging area and despite the bad weather, our goal of 100 units was easily reached. 
We had TWO families, TWO communities, TWO wonderful builders, ONE life-changing project. In the end not even extreme winter weather could dampen the spirits and the desire of folks in the Norman and Tulsa areas to be a part of this once in a lifetime opportunity. EMHE folks pulled out of Oklahoma in early February leaving many changed lives and over nine hundred blood donors.  Red Cross salutes Ideal Homes, Simmons Homes and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. What a ride!