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'Blessed' Abilene Family Gets Extreme Home Makeover

It's cramped, it's deteriorating and it's not as safe for the younger ones as the Rudolph family would like their home to be -- but until now, there wasn't much to be done about it.
It's cramped, it's deteriorating and it's not as safe for the younger ones as the Rudolph family would like their home to be -- but until now, there wasn't much to be done about it.

"Everything has been kind of shabby and rundown, all I can do is smile on the inside," Charles Rudolph said.

The family has six children, all under the age of 18, and Rudolph said it can be difficult with several people sleeping in one room.

"But we make it," he added.

But in just four days, all of it will take on a whole new look, with new paint, floors, furniture, electrical wiring, cabinetry and more.

Interior design students at Abilene Christian University started a program called Project Merge last year, choosing a less-fortunate family in our community and revamping their home from top to bottom.

The Project Merge students will begin work on the home on N. 9th St. in Abilene on Thursday and reveal the finished product to the family Sunday afternoon.

"It's very fast, it's terrifying, but it'll all work out, it always does," said Maggie Jarratt, a member of Project Merge.

The furniture, the goods and the services are all donated from local businesses, totaling between $10,00 and $15,000, according to Morgan Hudson, Project Merge Team Leader and ACU student.

"It's a family of six kids, two of them are 2 and 3, and they need a healthier safer environment to live in," Hudson said.

The Rudolph family was actually nominated for the project by two different people -- and with very good reason.

"The mom is just an amazing woman, she works 10-hour shifts, takes care of her family, she's just a really strong woman," Hudson said.

And while this transformation may just be on the outside, the impact it will have on this family goes well beyond appearances.

"I see it on TV, but not like this," Rudolph said. "It's a deep experience, a great blessing from God, that's all I can say. I never experienced a person come through and help a family like this."

To help a family like this turn a house into a home.

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