A short time ago, we were approached by hipages and the Today Show to help out a family who desperately needed it. The family had taken in their niece and nephew after the children’s main caregiver, their father, was tragically killed. The couple, with two children of their own, had attempted to extend their home to accommodate Azura and Torrin and make them feel as comfortable as possible under the terrible circumstances.
However, due to time and financial constraints, the couple, Amanda and Morgan, had to put a stop to the renos mid-way. And that, we were told, is where we would come in. We were asked to complete all of the electrical work, and install brand new air conditioning into the home. Our answer? It was a ‘no-brainer’, as Glenn put it. As a family owned business ourselves, operating for more than 30 years, we know the importance of family and our values were perfectly aligned with this project.
Whilst we knew that completing a renovation live on television in just over 3 hours was an ambitious endeavour, we also knew that the Glenco team would be up to the task. In the end we knew it would be completely worth it be able to help this family and were more than happy to get involved.
And so, we started planning the project, figuring out what we could supply and install in the house to make it the home it needed to be.
We knew the family had previously attempted to DIY some of the work, which meant we also knew that we may have to make a lot of the wiring in the property electrically safe. We did find some definite safety risks in the property along the way which we were able to repair and make safe immediately. But we went a lot further than that. Amongst other things, we installed new power points, switches, some brand new LED lighting, two new air conditioning systems generously donated by Panasonic, a new doorbell, security lighting, and completed some upgrades on the switchboard.
Along with a number of other tradies, Glenco had nearly a dozen people on-hand on the morning of the house renovation early on Wednesday 1st May. Our team of tradies were working across all three of our main services; Electrical, Air Conditioning, and Security.
If you’ve seen it you’ll know, the Today Show starts airing from 5:30am. So, we were onsite from 4am to make sure we were fully equipped for this race-against-the-clock reno! After some preparation, the show began at 5:30am and Today reporter Sarah Stewart let the air horn rip! And then, we were off. Almost two dozen tradies bolted inside the house with no time to lose. And from that moment, the organised chaos began. The electrical team started with the new power circuits for the air conditioning systems, whilst the aircon team started drilling in the brackets for the new systems to be hung onto. Then, some of the team started on the power and lighting, and of course the all-important doorbell which had always been missing from the home. All of this, whilst working around the landscapers, carpenters, and labourers!
The whole tradie team worked tirelessly throughout the morning, whilst also stopping intermittently to tell the live television cameras what they were working on. At about 7am Glenn was called up to be interviewed live with Georgie Gardner about Glenco’s contribution to the project. During the interview, Glenn mentioned “as Glenco is a family owned business…when we found out the plight the family were facing, that just sat really well with us. Everyone in our team pitched together and we said ‘we’ve gotta help these guys’!”
During the interview Georgie also declared to Glenn that Glenco had a lot of ‘man-power’ there that morning and asked if the team were on track to meet the tight 9am deadline. But it’s not just man-power we had onsite. As Glenn pointed out, “we actually have man and woman power here this morning with our female tradies also onsite” and he confirmed that “everyone (was) going really well”. We never doubted we had the team to get it done, although the TV crew were understandably nervous about meeting their strict live television deadline!
As the morning progressed you could really see a home starting to take shape. The interior decorators came in during the last 30 minutes of the reno to add the finishing touches such as a new couch and dining table. One of the most exciting additions was of course a door for the laundry toilet! Previously the family would yell ‘laundry door shut!” whenever someone was inside, to let others in the house know it was ‘occupied’…
At about 8:40am it was time for all the tradies, friends of the family, and Today Show crew to gather together in the back garden to surprise the family with their brand-new home. If you’ve ever been a guest at a surprise party, then you know exactly what it was like. We could hear the family enter the house being led in by the Today reporter Sarah Stewart. As they walked up to the front door one of the kids pressed our newly installed doorbell and everyone hiding out the back could hear it ring through the home. Sarah moved the family through the property, into the newly transformed living room. This was one of the rooms in which we had installed one of our split system air conditioning systems. As we quietly stood in the back garden we could hear one of the kids shout out with the upmost excitement “we have air conditioning!”. It was so amazing to be able hear the family’s exclamations from inside as they discovered all the new additions we had made to their home in the hours just prior.
The family were then informed how “so many people had been involved in this, and they (were all) here to see (them)”. The family then excitedly looked out in the backyard, and to their surprise they were greeted by friends, family, the full tradie team, TV crew, and the one and only Georgie Gardner! Georgie told the family that she “hoped they didn’t mind, but (they’d) enlisted the help of a few volunteers”, nodding back towards the huge tradie team standing behind her. Georgie told an emotional Amanda and Morgan how everybody had been so ready and willing to be involved. Through his tears Morgan told Georgie that he really “couldn’t thank them enough”. After a quick commercial break, we got to hear more from the family, including the children’s grandparents who had all gone through so much and were also so incredibly thankful. Seeing the reaction of the parents, children, and their relatives was a truly great moment to be a part of. They were genuinely so grateful for all the effort put in.
As the reveal continued it was such a fantastic feeling to be able to finally see the look on each and every one of the family’s faces as they took it all in. As Georgie spoke to each family member you could feel the raw emotion and gratitude they felt for everyone there, and it was a genuinely touching moment to be a part of. As Georgie wrapped up the show, her voice cracked with emotion as she told the hundreds of thousands of people watching that she had “had some great highlights in (her) career on the Today Show, but today, tops it all: it’s just been so special”. We couldn’t agree more Georgie. We have had some incredible highs throughout our 30 years as a business, but what we were able to complete in this one morning and the difference we were able to make in the family’s lives was truly moving. We are so privileged to have been able to be involved in this spectacular project.
Huge thanks go to the whole Today Show crew, the superb team at hipages, all the other tradies who were involved, and the gorgeous family who were so deserving of everything they received.