Dreams come true for Easter Seals staff member

When their house got hit by Hurricane Katrina, Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast (AL) staff member Lydia Gaudet and her family decided they could live with the damage. She and her husband Steven immersed themselves in disaster relief, and their eight children helped clean up neighborhood yards.

The family’s selfless dedication to helping others inspired members of the Mobile community to nominate them for Extreme Make-Over: Home Edition. Last month the Gaudets learned their severely distressed home — a 50-year old house battered by Hurricane Katrina, a small house fire and the natural wear and tear of eight children – had been selected for the show. Since that time, a team of designers, volunteer contractors and workers have demolished the old house and built the Gaudets a brand new one. You can see it all on ABC-TV’s Extreme Make-Over: Home Edition this Sunday, March 23, at 7 p.m. CST.

Lydia’s job as volunteer coordinator at Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast (AL) inspired her to start free parenting classes with an emphasis on parenting children with autism and other disabilities. She has also coordinated Easter Seals Alabama’s literacy program for adult non-readers and family literacy services.

During a family vacation underwritten by ABC, the Gaudets were the network’s guests at the Super Bowl. While at the game, they struck up a conversation with a group seated in front of them — which happened to be a group of executives from CVS Caremark. As one of the advertisers for Extreme Make-Over: Home Edition the CVS Caremark executives realized who the Gaudets were. Once they learned of Lydia’s work with Easter Seals, they arranged for a $25,000 donation from CVS Caremark to Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast. This generous gift will support Lydia’s dream of having a beautiful, family-friendly environment at the center where the love of books and reading can be nurtured among families – especially families with loved ones who have special needs. The two-room area will be named the Gaudet Family Literacy Center.

Don’t miss Extreme Make-Over: Home Edition this Sunday. Be sure to have some tissues ready, though – I predict many happy tears.


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