With the first-ever National Box Tops for Education Week set to begin on Sept. 24, Blasting News caught up with effort supporter and reality TV star Genevieve Gorder on Sept. 19 to get the scoop on the popular funding program. The former "Design Star" personality also looked back on her TV career, and shared a little about her plans for the next year, which --spoiler alert!-- includes the return of a long-gone but well-known TV design show.

Genevieve Gorder promotes Box Tops for Education

The Box Tops for Education program allows parents, educators, and community members alike to clip tiny certificates from an assortment of products; a process which Gorder likened to "a treasure hunt." The certificates, which are worth 10 cents each, can then be submitted to a participating school and redeemed for cash.

That money, Gorder said, is then used by the school for "funding for sports programs, for tech, for art supplies... it's a big gift."

With $840 million raised over 20 years, Gorder hoped that the National Box Tops for Education Week effort --which will feature neighborhood clipping drives and door-to-door collections-- will bump the total to $1 billion.

Gorder on going barefoot: 'I had no cult affiliations'

But she wasn't all about the Box Tops. Gorder also reflected on her extensive reality TV career, which began in earnest with a stint as a designer on TLC's "Trading Spaces." She called the show --which featured pairs of neighbors as they teamed up with designers to re-invent a room in one another's homes-- "such a learning curve" and praised it for introducing design to kids. She said she's "excited to do it again" when the show, which ended in 2011, returns to TV next spring.

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So which of her former design pals would she most like to work with again the future? "Vern [Yip]," she said after a quick pause. She took no time naming her carpentry pick: "As a carpenter, for sure Ty [Pennington]. Ty and I have a lot of fun together."

Gorder also dished on just why she so often went barefoot during "Trading Spaces" episodes. "Back in the day, when I first started television, the budgets were very tiny... so our wardrobe budget was basically 'what you have in your closet'," she explained. Eager to not ruin her shoes --which designers "covet" and don't joke about-- she opted to go barefoot. "That's the only reason. I had no cult affiliations, I have no cause... I simply didn't want to wreck my shoes."

For Blasting News' full chat with Genevieve Gorder --which includes reflections on how her nine-year-old daughter impacted her view of design and the identity of her biggest design inspiration-- check out the video.