Another View on Extreme Team by Katy Dolan | Community Spirit
This cluster of rooms is home for children who have just been removed from horrible situations. But as we listen to the sounds of drilling, sawing, and Mark Peterson’s booming jokes, Sally’s House feels anything but sad.
Extreme Team worked this week to renovate Sally’s House, operated by The Salvation Army of Spokane. Sally’s House provides emergency shelter to kids ages 2-12. Kids are brought here when they cannot stay at home, usually due to abuse, neglect, or criminal activity. Law enforcement or Child Protection officers bring kids here because, according to Deputy Craig Chamberlin, they know that the fragile children will find a nurturing environment at Sally’s House. The loving Salvation Army workers feed the kids nutritious meals, give them a brand new set of PJs, and send them off to bed – sometimes, the first real bed that the child has ever slept in.
Sally’s House does amazing things in the lives of these kids, and that’s why Extreme Team KXLY chose to spruce up their facilities. The rooms here haven’t been updated in over ten years, and the daily use of up to 18 children at a time has taken its toll on the bedrooms, bathrooms, and dining room. Contractors from all over Spokane have donated their time this week to turn Sally’s House into a home.
We started by tearing up tiling, deep cleaning, and refurbishing the drywall (thanks Modern Drywall!). Alpha Electric helped us to bring all of the wiring up to code. Gray tile with a colorful accent from Ibex went into both bathrooms, and a base coat from Rodda Paint Co. went down in all the bedrooms. The heating and cooling system was updated to keep the employees and kids comfortable. Over the last few days, we have witnessed a true transformation here at Sally’s House.
Some of the most creative touches have come from Paint Room Studio Designs, who painted a mural in the wall of the dining room that includes a hanging system for the kids’ artwork. The doors have been coated in chalkboard paint so the kids can doodle and the employees can keep track of caretaking notes. There are two whiteboards with a city and country design that the kids can draw on over and over in dry-erase marker. Even the small changes will make a big impact on the inhabitants here – A&M Hardware donated new door handles, and Access Unlimited contributed low-voltage wiring expertise to give Sally’s House a new audio system.
Target sponsored a jungle bedroom with new bedding and a tent for the kids to hide out in. The TV room has been modernized so the kids can have a more convenient hangout. The employees’ office has been cleaned by Zerorez and updated so the dedicated staff can have their own organized and efficient space, thanks to a new counter from River City Solid Surfaces. The faulty cabinets were updated in one quick visit from Rex with Cabinet Systems, so storage is secure and not a hazard.
The environment here on this Extreme Team KXLY project represents the spirit of uniting to make a difference in the community. Painters, drywallers, and cameramen all come together to share treats from Sweetwater Bakery and lunch from generous donors like Williams Seafood and Christ Kitchen as 70’s soul music plays softly in the background. Wendell, the project manager from Garco, helps the muralists remove screws and then rushes to hang up whiteboards. Work starts early, at around 5 am for the KXLY morning broadcast, and doesn’t end until the evening. Despite the long hours, the workers here know they’re doing it for a great cause.
The Extreme Team will be unveiling their work tonight on KXLY News at 6:00; tonight, the kids will get to sleep in an environment that feels a lot like the home they might not have had before.
If you would like to make a gift to Sally’s House, please visit www.makingspokanebetter.org. Stay tuned for the next influential Extreme Team project, which will undoubtedly be just as influential as this one.