Web Exclusive: An "Extreme" Journey

An “Extreme” Journey

Local Family Shares “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” Experience With HRM

By Natasha Pearce

It was supposed to be just another Sunday morning for the Hill-Burdette family as they walked into their local church. Yet as Beverly Hill opened the doors to enter the place of worship, she was hit with an odd feeling that told her this was not going to be a normal day. Thanks to TV Host Ty Pennington and his crew, her premonition was more than met. The family was greeted with the surprise of a lifetime as they walked into the church. The popular NBC television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” had selected the family to have their Lynnhaven home remodeled with the help of volunteers and donated materials.

“I thought that someone had died when I looked around and saw my family standing around,” says Hill. “We’re all such a close-knit family that it really made me surprised.”

To her friends, family and her Virginia Beach community, Beverly Hill is known as a woman with a heart of gold and an open door.  Throughout her lifetime, she and her husband Fred have fostered more than 35 children and adopted six of their own. It was her mother whom Beverly says instilled in her at a young age the valuable lesson that it was better to give than to receive. With that lifelong motto, she and her family continuously give back to the community by volunteering time and expenses to feed the homeless.

Because of their constant desire to give, one would assume that Beverly and her family were living a life of luxury. Yet that could not be further from the truth. In fact, before receiving a new home from “Extreme Makeover,” this generous family resided in a three bedroom home in need of some necessary repairs along with only one working bathroom shared by seven women.

With a family of 12, including six children and four grandchildren, there is never a dull moment in the Hill-Burdette household. Every Sunday evening the family would get together and engage in laughter and conversation over dinner around the table. Even in small and cramped quarters, Beverly and her family managed to make the best of what they had.

While the crew worked long and tedious hours on the renovations, the television show treated the Hill-Burdette family to a weeklong relaxing vacation in California. Upon their arrival to Hampton Roads on the following Sunday, friends and family members came out to join the family in the unveiling of their drastically new and improved home.

“I could never have imagined this house looking the way that it does,” says Hill. “It was just absolutely marvelous. It wasn’t me who did this; it was God. He was the only one who could have done this for us.”

For this deserving family, settling into the custom designed home was like experiencing Christmas morning all over again. With every turn they made, a new surprise awaited them as the excitement continued long after the camera crews were gone and the crowds dissipated. More than a month after the unveiling of the home, the family still finds themselves amazed at the blessing they have been given.

Today Beverly and her family have not let the success from the show change their personalities or their amount of generosity. They continue to dedicate time out of their day to feed the homeless and provide them with any extra supplies they may need.

Like their home, this family stands out amongst others in the crowd. Their selfless acts of kindness bring inspiration and comfort to those around them and, with the recent airing of their remodel on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” there’s no doubt that they have broadened their reach to warm the hearts of those all across the nation.

As they say on the show, “Welcome Home, Hill-Burdette Family!”

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