Birmingham, Alabama VA Health Care System
Hoover selected to help decorate White House
Debra Hoover is getting the opportunity to live a dream come true. She was recently selected to assist in decorating the White House for the holidays.
Hoover will travel to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 24, and stay through Nov. 27 as part of a team of volunteers from around the country to prepare the Executive Mansion before the Thanksgiving holiday.
“It’s pretty cool. They sent us an itinerary and told us what we could wear, what we are going to do, and it’s all volunteer,” she added.
Hoover, a licensed practical nurse, currently serves as a telehealth clinical technician at the Huntsville Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic and has worked for VA for 17 years. She not only freelances as a holiday decorator but has experience in wedding planning, floral arrangements and event planning.
“In my own home, I usually put up about 13, 14 Christmas trees,” Hoover explained. “Every room has a tree. I have trees everywhere.”
After talking with a friend and fellow decorator about the possibility of decorating the White House, Hoover applied in August.
She didn’t think the two of them had a chance of being selected.
“The kinds of questions they asked, like ‘do you have a web page?’ I do weddings and events for people and I decorate homes. She and I have won [the] Christmas tree decorating contest in Madison for years and years, but I don’t have any kind of web page. All I put was I had a Facebook and a Pinterest page,” Hoover said.
She is proud to serve Veterans at the VA clinic. Her father, an Army Veteran, served in the Korean War and her son is a Veteran of the Air Force.
Not only will Hoover be going, but her friend Diana Adamson of Madison was also selected. Adamson is the wife of a retired Air Force Veteran.
The Huntsville International Airport provided the duo with $500 in flying vouchers to help with their flights to the nation’s capital.
The crew of decorators will arrive at 6 a.m. and depart at 5 p.m. each day. On Wednesday they will tour the White House, but no photographs will be allowed.
Hoover is excited to be a part of the decorating team and indicated no job is too small for her.
“If they tell me to carry a box, I am carrying a box. Whatever they tell me to do, I am doing it. Since I am so tall, they probably want me to put stars on top of trees. I’d love to do flowers. I just think it is going to be magical, no matter what we do. It’s serving my country by giving back. This, and doing the Macy’s Day Parade were on my bucket list; so I have one more to go.”