Thursday, February 20, 2014
Collector Care Collaborates with 1-800-GOT-JUNK on the CBS Sunday Morning Show with Charles Osgood 2/23/14
Christmas was just around the corner, and the phone rang. It was a young man in fear for his fathers safety and life. His father, a war veteran, had been living in a hoarded home with no lights or running water. He was afraid his father would die in the home, and no one would know. I could hear his voice shaking as he was worried and embarrassed at the same time. His father had been a hoarder for his whole life, he said. It had now gotten so bad that the doors were blocked with clutter and debris, and you had to climb a ladder to get into the home.
The front door had been "RED TAGGED" (this image made it onto the CBS Show). The only entry was up the ladder into the attic and down a homemade drop into the home. You know I was all over it Collectors (I am insured right?!).
After speaking with this young man, we realized that he could not afford our services. He read on our site where it said "free estimates" and thought it was free help. I felt very bad to tell him that we could not help his father. It was also about an hour and a half away closer to Central California, so there would be no "free estimate" either. We hung up the phone.
About three days later my phone rang again, this time it was PR for 1-800-GOT-JUNK, they were doing a special with CBS on hoarding and wanted our help. I had the opportunity to help one of my clients with free services, as long as they were ok with being filmed. I immediately thought of the young man who had just called a few days before. Let me tell you Collectors, I had to jump high to make this happen. I drove four hours total to go take pictures and interview this young mans father. Trying to get in touch with this man was almost impossible. His cellphone was dead, he had no power at the home, etc. I had to make the trek, myself, with Bella my dog (of course!).
When I arrived at the home I was greeted by our client John. He was a soft spoken man of small stature, dedicated to serving our Country. Outside reminded me of a junk yard, and I was welcomed by over 10 cats living on the property. Junk, debris and four dilapidated sheds surrounded this tiny home. It was incredible.
After meeting with John for an hour, I headed home and sent everything I had to make it happen. We did the TV shoot less than a week later. Below are pictures from the shoot which lasted about 8 hours. The cleanup was about 10 hours and we were able to get the front room and one bedroom cleared out completely. It was myself, Tony (who was spotted twice on the CBS Special with his Collector Care shirt on), and four great 1-800-GOT-JUNK guys. The producer was amazing! I have to give her major props for climbing up the ladder and doing the attic plunge. AWESOME girlfriend, you are really doing big things. Anyway, so it was a major event for John. He was able to get his home cleared enough for major repairs to happen. (Its hard to have electrical work done when your house is packed to the brim). We also cleared two giant truck loads of outdoor debris just to get to the front door.
After we finished the long day of work we waited for the show to air. And waited ...
Then surprisingly enough we heard it would be on last Sunday (2/23/14)! We were told that not much made it onto the segment but that we should promote and watch it and so we did! It was a great special! The hoarding segment was about 5 minutes and the 8 hour shoot we did made about 4 seconds :) I was completely cut out for the amazing Dr. Randy Frost (such an honor) and it was fun to see Lee Shuer talk about his experience. The segment was incredible. I really enjoyed it. I would do it again in a heart beat. Thank you to 1-800-GOT-JUNK to helping us with our client, we could not have done it without you!
The special can be read online at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/seeking-help-for-hoarding/.