WACO, Texas Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of HGTV’s popular “Fixer Upper,” have quietly stepped in to ensure that work can start soon on a handicap-accessible home for an injured Waco firefighter.
“Chip and Joanna have offered to pick up the last big ticket item,” said contractor Wes Waller of UBI Products, who has teamed up with local firefighters to build the home for Waco firefighter Garth Goodwin and his family.
“They’re going to pay for the cost of the lumber.”
The contribution means that ground will be broken for the home next week in Moody with the goal of finishing the house and moving the Goodwin family in by Thanksgiving.
Goodwin doesn’t know the couple, but on his off-duty job he has helped assemble the rolling billboards that the couple pulls apart to reveal renovated homes as they ask the owners, “Ready to see your fixer upper?”
In fact on May 10 Goodwin had just completed work on a “Fixer Upper” billboard project when he stopped in McGregor to work on the billboard from which he fell after a metal pole came into contact with a power line.
The fall left him paralyzed from the chest down and worried that he would be a burden to his family, which is already dealing with a lot.
The Goodwin’s only child, Cutter, is 19, but was born without a portion of his brain and requires around-the-clock care.
When Waller learned of Goodwin’s plight, he teamed up with local firefighters to launch an effort to build the handicap-accessible home.
Within a matter of days, area residents and businesses were pitching in to help and within just weeks, almost everything needed for the project was donated.
More than 70 different businesses and contractors offered to help and the Baylor softball team even promised to clean the house up before the family moves in, Waller said.
“The response has been overwhelming,” Waller said.
When the Gaines learned the last major obstacle was the lumber for the house, they had an employee contact Waller to let him know they were ready to make sure the home was built.
“It’s just like that picture in the restaurant where you’re working to connect the dots. Chip and Joanna connected the dots for us,” Waller said.
Waco firefighter Jay Jeffrey said seeing the project all come together with the help of so many people is a dream come true for Goodwin’s colleagues.
“All of us at the Waco Fire Department are thankful for Chip and Joanna and everyone that has stepped up to help our friend and his family,” Jeffrey said.
“The positive impact they are making for Garth, Lisa and Cutter is immeasurable.”