Extreme Makeover Pays a Visit to Honolulu!

Somehow one of our local families was chosen to be the recipient of the generosity of the popular television series, Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Momi Akana and her family were surprised to find that they were the chosen ones for Extreme Makeover to rebuild their home.

Paving Equipment and Gravel

Why was Momi chosen? Well, about ten years ago she was a single mother of six on welfare and trying to raise her children. While dealing with that, Momi managed somehow to establish Keiki O Ka ‘Aina Family Learning Centers, a non-profit organization that has grown from providing programs for 30 keiki at its founding in 1996 to nearly two thousand at this point — maybe more.

Paving driveways

Momi and her family were moved off the island as the crew, made up mostly of volunteers (nearly 2000 of them), worked for a week non-stop and, in spite of tropical weather conditions that kept the ground soft and even muddy at times, they managed to complete their mission.

City Mill Banner

There were several sponsors from local companies as well as mainland firms. City Mill provided materials.

Hawaiian Telcom Banner

Even Hawaiian Telcom got involved with providing the “communications for the build.”

Crazy Shirts Banner

This was an exciting event to have happen here. I mean, this is the stuff you watch on television. It doesn’t happen here! Surprise! It just did.

Officer manning traffic Officers monitor heavy vehicles and pedestrian traffic

As I mentioned the other day, officers from the Honolulu Police Department are always there! Here they were on hand to direct and control traffic while protecting the nosy and inquisitive pedestrians, like me, from getting in the way of tractors, buses and other construction vehicles.

Workers and Bulldozer

On a narrow street like this, these vehicles appeared even larger than normal. There was only one way in and one way out so it was a challenge for builders and neighbors alike. The neighbors stuck together and seemed happy to deal with it.

House almost completed

Here it is and there they are! Volunteer workers continue working through the night. They started on Thursday, June 7th and wrapped it up today (Wednesday, June 13th), only a week later.

Sheets of Grass

I like these sheets of grass carpeting that will soon make up the lawn!

Community Center

The interesting part of this project is that Extreme Makeover was not only building a house for the Akana family, they were also building a community center for Keiki O Ka ‘Aina on the same property! Members of the Extreme Makeover crew said this was their biggest challenge so far — building two buildings instead of just one in their allotted time.

Paving Center Driveway

Keiki O Ka ‘Aina is an organization that works to involve parents more actively in the education of their children. Their mission statement says that they aim to “support parents as their children’s first teachers.” Well, Keiki O Ka ‘Aina now has a brand new place to work with even more families in the education and cultural enrichment of their children!


From what I understand the show featuring this build will be aired in September. Until then, KHON Channel 2 has a nice clip of the Akana family homecoming. To the crew of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Honolulu thanks you — for your generosity and for the excitement!

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Becky Cook // Jun 15, 2007 at 11:46 am

    Evie, you did it again. Another wonderful story. Extreme Makeover is one of my favorite TV shows too. I cry along with the families as well. That is what makes us human. Can’t wait to see the show in the fall. Will I see a glimpse of you and Rod there?

    Hugs to you both, Becky

  • 2 Evelyn // Jun 15, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Becky!

    No, we won’t be seen on camera. 🙂 We did our best to not be annoying to anyone, especially the officers that had to be in the hot sun all day long! It is hot! Our trades have kicked back in but the sun is still very toasty!

    You’re right, I cry too! They are always SO happy! It’s makes you feel fuzzy all over! Hugs right back at ya!

  • 3 It’s Carnival time again » TravelBlog Archive » Family Travel // Jun 19, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    […] **  A TV show in paradise (Extreme Makeover pays a visit to Honolulu)  […]

  • 4 Christchurch » Christchurch has joined ‘Carnival of Cities’ again. // Jun 19, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    […] check out the Extreme Makeover in Honolulu, and […]

  • 5 Hawaii Real Estate Blog by Scott Startsman » Blog Archive » Extreme Makeover Home Edition Visits Oahu // Jun 22, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    […] generous local families.  I came across pictures of the progress of the home on another blog at Homespun Honolulu They put together a good article about the family with a sneak peak of the home that will be […]

  • 6 Homespun Honolulu » Did You See the Canival This Week? // Jun 22, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    […] carnival leads you back to Homespun Honolulu (which is where you are right now) for you to see the Extreme Makeover which was quite the circus. […]

  • 7 Carole // Jun 25, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    This is so cool. I’d love to help out with a project like this. I’ve been hoping that Habitat for Humanity would come to my neighborhood so that I could volunteer. It’s so worthwhile helping a family in such a tangible way.

  • 8 Evelyn // Jun 25, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    You’re so cool, Carole! Not everyone is willing to volunteer and I admire that. We had our share to help with this project, but I know t hat Habitat for Humanity, no matter where they are, always appreciate an extra hand. You’re such a kind person. 🙂

  • 9 momi // Jul 6, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Check out the article in the Honolulu Advertiser dated July 3, 2007. I have some insider knowledge and have known Momi for over 13 years. It’s great that she started a great organization, but I think there are some serious questions about appropriations of tax and grant dollars. And how can ABC say she couldn’t afford to repair her house when their combined family income is over $225K and her husband is the Senior VP of First Hawaiian Bank?

    I used to cry watching this show all the time too. But I know that this particular episode was baloney so it makes me wonder how many other episodes were totally dramatized out of proportion.

  • 10 Evelyn // Jul 6, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Yes, this article was written in good faith but then other things materialized and we had to follow it with this. I know that it was uncomfortable for a lot of us to read the details. I’m sorry that it left such a negative impact.

    Thank you for sharing your comments and for visiting!

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