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Gates Home Furnishings Participates In Extreme Makeover; Home Edition

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Gates Home Furnishings reported that president Giff Gates and his staff enjoyed a rewarding opportunity of a lifetime recently when they took part in an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EM:HE) build in Medford, Oregon.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime, inspiring experience in the furniture industry," says Gates, whose store has served Southern Oregon residents since 1946. "It's a chance to help a deserving family in need to receive a home that will better their lives. And it's also the opportunity to join a very caring community as we all came together to help out one of our own."

Gates Home Furnishings and its family ownership have become well-known for charitable contributions.  Father and son — Giff and Nick Gates — have worked with and supported the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life campaign, the Fourway Family Foundation, Rotary and a number of other altruistic organizations.  When Giff Gates found out that ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was coming to the area, he knew he wanted to be involved.  The internationally-known, Emmy-award-winning reality TV program travels around the U.S. rebuilding the homes of deserving families, each in a span of around seven days.

Before the identity of the winning family was even released, Gates committed to donating $18,000 worth of furniture for the new home.  He also donated patio furniture including eight chairs and two chaises for use in the V.I.P. tent at the home build site, which could then be auctioned to help raise money for the Family/Build fund.

Though Gates was not familiar with the chosen family — C.J. and Lindsay McPhail and their three sons — or their tremendous charitable efforts through the Sparrow Clubs, he continued to work with his key suppliers to increase the amount of furniture he could donate to the project.  Through his continued efforts, Gates’ suppliers helped him boost his original $18,000 value contribution to more than $50,000 in new furniture for the McPhail's.  Gates and his team ended up working directly with the EM:HE designers to determine the best use of that $50,000 value. Many of Gates' employees also volunteered on the build — taking a variety of shifts throughout the seven-day project.

Well-connected in the local community, Giff Gates also arranged for the home designers to take a private Hellgate Jetboat tour up the renowned Rogue River.

Giff's wife Chris and their family dog Snoopy have connections with Canine Angels, a local canine group that trains service dogs.  Chris Gates arranged for the McPhail family, who have two sons on the autism spectrum, to meet several local dogs trained to work with special needs children.

“We didn’t know before anyone else that Extreme Makeover was coming here, “ says Giff Gates, “But having participated, I whole-heartedly recommend making that spontaneous decision to any furniture store or business owner.  All of our charitable efforts are rewarding, but through Extreme, we got the chance to meet the people designing the home as well as the very deserving family benefitting from the show.  This was a one-of-a-kind experience, and all I can say is you’d be crazy not to get involved.”

About Gates Home Furnishings: George Gates Jr. established 5,000-square-foot Gates Furniture in Grants Pass, Oregon in 1946. In 1952, George’s wife Lois assumed the position of store manager after George contracted polio, which left him a quadriplegic confined to respiratory equipment. With George acting as consultant and Lois physically running the operation, Gates Furniture quickly gained a trustworthy reputation within the community. With their focus on providing great furniture values and customer satisfaction, Gates Furniture became one of the Rogue Valley’s most popular furniture stores of the 50’s and 60’s. In 1973, after graduating from college, George and Lois’s son Giff joined the store, and in 1977, he assumed the manager position in which he still serves. Gates Furniture has gone from 5,000 to 30,000 square feet, expanded to larger buildings and even changed its name to Gates Home Furnishings. What hasn’t changed in 65 years is the store's commitment to its employees, its customers and its community.

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