In last night’s episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the team took on the unusual challenge of remodeling a drive-thru coffee concept.

St. Louis-based More Than Coffee was started by Sam Malek, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. In the spring of 2007, he opened the concept as a way to provide employment for other people with special needs and to raise money for his charitable contributions. Unfortunately, due to the coffee house’s small footprint, wheelchair access was impossible.

“This is the most beautiful thing I ever saw,” Malek told the cameras as the remodeled building was revealed. The owner tearfully remembered the first wheelchaired employee who applied to work at the store. “He couldn’t even get passed the freezer,” he said.

As is custom for the makeovers, corporations such as CVS Pharmacy and Commercial Electronics (CE) made donations to the project.

“I feel truly humbled by the opportunity to participate in this very important community initiative,” says Bob Wurth, President of CE.

“Everybody in St. Louis paid it forward,” Malek said while standing in his new spacious kitchen.

The Martirez family, who have special needs twins, received the home remodel featured in the episode.

–Blair Chancey

Charitable Giving, News