Knoxville couple who help single moms chosen for ABC's 'Extreme Makeover'

A parade celebrating the 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' episode being filmed this week in Knoxville took place Tuesday in front of Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Rachel Wise // Buy this photo

A parade celebrating the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" episode being filmed this week in Knoxville took place Tuesday in front of Neyland Stadium.

The Watson Family

Photo by Submitted photo

The Watson Family

The Watson children

The Watson children

The Watson family learned this morning that their old home will receive a makeover.

Photo by Amy McRary

The Watson family learned this morning that their old home will receive a makeover.

KNOXVILLE - A Knoxville couple who run a non-profit to help low-income single mothers with housing have been chosen to get a big helping hand from the ABC-TV program "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition".

Daniel and Mandy Watson got the door-knock notice this morning from the program's cast.

Over the next seven days or so, teams of volunteers will give the Watsons and their three children a new home.

According to a news release this morning, the Watsons five years ago decided to create The Restoration House of East Tennessee, which provides single mothers housing at a local apartment complex. It also offers mentoring and advocacy to help women in such situations become self-sufficient.

Restoration House is helping five single mothers and 11 children, according to the release.

People chosen for the home makeover often live in a house in such bad shape that their own health and wellbeing suffers. The Watson house is poorly insulated, with a crumbling foundation and falling ceilings.

It's "in such bad shape that it threatens to take them away from their non-profit and imperils their dreams of expanding the program to help even more single moms," today's release states.

The Watsons adopted Atley, 7, and Ava, 6, as newborns from single Knoxville mothers. They also have a son, Silas, 2, who they adopted from Ethiopia.

Volunteers from the Knoxville community will help with the build.

Residents chosen for a home build typically get a brand-new house, after their old one is demolished.

The program is expected to air later this year, perhaps in November.

More details as they develop online and in Wednesday's News Sentinel.

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Comments » 20

MerrieLong writes:

*applause*

What a sweet and beautiful family! A very wonderful article about some very deserving people.

MerrieLong writes:

Just curious, why doesn't it show up that these articles have any comments, no matter how many they have?

Also, why don't they show up on my user profile? I can never find the article again on 'knoxville.com' when you take it back off the front page.

websiteworld_com writes:

This episode will air for Thanksgiving.

pmillar writes:

Restoration House has a $200,000.00 and pays $100,000.00 in salaries.

50% !!!!!!!!

pmillar writes:

in response to pmillar:

Restoration House has a $200,000.00 and pays $100,000.00 in salaries.

50% !!!!!!!!

$200,00.00 Budget

gregmuzak writes:

Those numbers are not correct. Here is some factual information from their website. I would encourage you to learn a little about the great work they are doing at The Restoration House.

http://cdn.therestorationhouse.net/si...

pmillar writes:

in response to gregmuzak:

Those numbers are not correct. Here is some factual information from their website. I would encourage you to learn a little about the great work they are doing at The Restoration House.

http://cdn.therestorationhouse.net/si...

Greg,
I will suggest you join Guidestar and look at 2008,2009 and 2010, 990's

If you don't know how to read a 990 send me a note.

pmillar writes:

I was wrong:

2010 Total Budget $199594.00
2010 Total Salaries $ 97583.00

48.9% of Budget is going to salaries.

lail#204076 (staff) writes:

in response to MerrieLong:

Just curious, why doesn't it show up that these articles have any comments, no matter how many they have?

Also, why don't they show up on my user profile? I can never find the article again on 'knoxville.com' when you take it back off the front page.

Each site is separate. There is a search for knoxnews, for knoxville and govolsxtra. They are all different.

Comments will only show up with your profile for that site: knoxnews, knoxville.com, govolsxtra.com.

What is shared is the login/password. The same login/password that works for knoxnews will work for knoxville.com and govolsxtra.com. You have profiles on all three.

-- jack lail
Knoxville News Sentinel

mastermind writes:

in response to pmillar:

Restoration House has a $200,000.00 and pays $100,000.00 in salaries.

50% !!!!!!!!

I just briefly glanced at their website, but in doing so it looks like there are at least 3 employees. Thats only 33k each (if split evenly), that isn't much to live on!

There budget is very small which makes that percentage number seem really high, but when you look at the details and the big picture you realize it isn't a big deal and is to be expected.

kickinc11 writes:

in response to pmillar:

Restoration House has a $200,000.00 and pays $100,000.00 in salaries.

50% !!!!!!!!

And the full time director's salary is only 45k of that 100, so clearly no one person is getting rich off of this. Do you honestly think 45k for a man that has three children of his own and has committed his life to helping single mothers and their children (8 mothers, 12 kids in '10 per your sacred 1099) is too much? It costs money to help people you know, and I'm just gonna go way out on a limb assuming from your desire to bash them that at least 80% of your salary goes directly to the pmillar foundation, so what now? I would suggest you see for yourself in person, not cowering behind guidestar, how they can accomplish so much with relatively little rather than throwing a couple of numbers out there attempting (and failing) to make someone look bad. Even if they took in a million in revenue their salaries would still be about the same and the expenses would be the rest so your percentage is irrelevant. I have volunteered (for 0 compensation mind you so regretfully for you I won’t show up on the 1099) for them before and I know firsthand that their work is great, and I have met him and know his ultimate goal is to help as many mothers as he can, not become incredibly wealthy. Check your facts then, maybe, get a life. Some people still just genuinely care.

s_brittle writes:

Congrats. This is a cool thing given the generous work these folks do.

I obviously have no idea about the condition of this home from a structural perspective, but aesthetically it appears to just lack a little TLC.

I'd be a embarrassed to win "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" and have them show up for filming to find giant limbs and leaves on the roof (Photo 4 of the Gallery from today's filming).

I kind of realize this is the point of the show, but it looks like no effort has been made for just general upkeep.

Mystica47 writes:

I am not originally from Knoxville, but one of the reasons we moved here was because of how outwardly friendly people seemed to be here. I think the work this family does is amazing and a real benefit to the city of Knoxville.

I was not surprised to see however the negative comments that have already shown up on this board.

I often check newspaper sites from other states and have never seen such consistently uncaring, judgmental comments on daily basis that cover such a wide array of topics.

Very Sad.....

May God continue to bless the Watson family as they continue to work hard taking care of women and children in need.

tamarashepherd writes:

in response to kickinc11:

And the full time director's salary is only 45k of that 100, so clearly no one person is getting rich off of this. Do you honestly think 45k for a man that has three children of his own and has committed his life to helping single mothers and their children (8 mothers, 12 kids in '10 per your sacred 1099) is too much? It costs money to help people you know, and I'm just gonna go way out on a limb assuming from your desire to bash them that at least 80% of your salary goes directly to the pmillar foundation, so what now? I would suggest you see for yourself in person, not cowering behind guidestar, how they can accomplish so much with relatively little rather than throwing a couple of numbers out there attempting (and failing) to make someone look bad. Even if they took in a million in revenue their salaries would still be about the same and the expenses would be the rest so your percentage is irrelevant. I have volunteered (for 0 compensation mind you so regretfully for you I won’t show up on the 1099) for them before and I know firsthand that their work is great, and I have met him and know his ultimate goal is to help as many mothers as he can, not become incredibly wealthy. Check your facts then, maybe, get a life. Some people still just genuinely care.

A couple of thoughts on your and PMillar's posts, Kickinc:

PMillar is correct that if this were an older, more established nonprofit we would not want to see 50% of its incoming revenue spent on salaries, no matter how modest (and you are correct that the salaries do appear modest). Years ago, the rule was that a nonprofit's total administrative overhead should not exceed 15% of its revenues, I think it was?

However, PMillar may not have caught on that 2010 IRS Form 990, the most recent one, that Restoration House was even then less than five years in existence and it is NOT uncommon for so new a nonprofit to struggle with weak fundraising and heavy overhead. Hopefully, as Restoration House continues in its work it will raise ever greater sums of revenues, which should result in its (modest) salary and benefit cost comprising an ever smaller percentage of its total expenses over time.

Also, PMillar may not have caught, either, that the Form 990 indicates Restoration House does not receive any government funding of any kind. We here at Knoxnews are in recent years accustomed to scrutinizing local nonprofits with an eye toward determining whether--or for how much--any of them may be fleecing taxpayers. With regard to the privately-funded Restoration House, though, only those taxpayers who are considering making their own voluntary donation to the ministry really have any right or motivation to question the nonprofit's management.

These appearing to be the circumstances, I say let's acknowledge Restoration House's good works to date and wish both that nonprofit and its creators, the Watsons, continued good fortune!

Tngirl117 writes:

While y'all are converstating about money IRS incomes this and that y'all are completely over looking what the family does are y'all helping single mothers and these children..probably not.i work for non profits I've been the shoulder to cry on and the one to share a laugh with stop complaing about things that have nothing to do with you and isn't even being a burden to you.

UKnowWhatTheySayAboutOpinions writes:

in response to Mystica47:

I am not originally from Knoxville, but one of the reasons we moved here was because of how outwardly friendly people seemed to be here. I think the work this family does is amazing and a real benefit to the city of Knoxville.

I was not surprised to see however the negative comments that have already shown up on this board.

I often check newspaper sites from other states and have never seen such consistently uncaring, judgmental comments on daily basis that cover such a wide array of topics.

Very Sad.....

May God continue to bless the Watson family as they continue to work hard taking care of women and children in need.

You are so right. Most comments end up being personal and selfish, some just stupid and some just hateful. This apparently the only outlet for those comments because no one else wants to listen to them.
The mean spirirted comments from the uninformed serve no purpose other than to misinform and discolor people or incidents about which the "poster" has no knowledge or interest in. Just babblings. It is very easy to sit back abd be criitical, it takes muchmore effort and energy to get up and do something for others.

This is a good cause, and this family is worthy of this and much more.

cannotstaysilentanymore writes:

in response to UKnowWhatTheySayAboutOpinions:

You are so right. Most comments end up being personal and selfish, some just stupid and some just hateful. This apparently the only outlet for those comments because no one else wants to listen to them.
The mean spirirted comments from the uninformed serve no purpose other than to misinform and discolor people or incidents about which the "poster" has no knowledge or interest in. Just babblings. It is very easy to sit back abd be criitical, it takes muchmore effort and energy to get up and do something for others.

This is a good cause, and this family is worthy of this and much more.

I agree. Negative comments abound and they serve no good purpose. The negative posters are no different than crabs in a barrel...when one crab crawls up to the top of the barrel, the other ones claw and drag it back down.

bobmcreynolds#663132 writes:

in response to pmillar:

$200,00.00 Budget

0 for 2 on posts. Go fly a kite.

BigOrangeFanBeagleMom writes:

For the critics who make judgments without knowing the facts, please watch these, and consider EMHE is not only re-building the Watson home, which they share with a single mom, but also building housing for the Restoration House on the Watson property. Say what you will . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W3eYz...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6-bMG...

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