I wish I could share what I’m feeling in my heart at this moment . . . It’s almost difficult to put into words. Warmth, gratitude, amazement, and honor are just a few which come to mind.
Today was the grand reopening of our local community shelter and to witness all of the changes, which have occurred in less than a year’s time, is a testament to everyone associated with the shelter . . . the staff, the board, the volunteers, the residents, and the generous community. Being a part of the progress has given back to me in ways too many to count.
I’ll share a bit of today’s open house as well as some other exciting news!
Mary Ruth Smith, the Board Chair, (on the right), shares with visitors the missions accomplished for the shelter renovation. Kathy Bragg, holding a plaque, (on the left), is the Executive Director.
The dining hall has received new flooring, new paint, and a little bit of pattern on the walls. (As have all of the other spaces in the shelter.) This room also provides extra sleeping space when the shelter is full. The shelter has almost doubled the number of meals it serves – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – seven days a week. No one is turned away. You don’t have to be homeless to eat here. The population of people who have homes but who are feeling the pinch in their own pantries has increased. These meals help to supplement their needs.
With no windows in the dining room, a touch of Mother Nature was added. (Thank you to Diana Garmon and Matthews Fast Frame for helping to make this happen.)
A dramatic difference is shown in the before pictures of the kitchen area. The new counter donated by Charles Luck Stone has been a wonderful addition!
A fabulous, self-serve coffee/cappuccino/hot chocolate machine added a nice perk to the dining hall!
This is what the area looked like before.
Sometimes surfaces become a little worn. People can feel that way, too. My mission was to help create a place for souls to be restored and hope to be renewed. While the staff and board have been able to provide the tools for a new life focus, I wanted to provide a different environment to support that message.
(My original inspiration board on Olioboard.)
Social media has proven to be an huge platform, from which to share our mission, and the response has been overwhelming! Our Giving For Gallons campaign netted enough money to cover most of the cost of the paint used to cover up a variation of colors. I learned that sometimes you have to create a wish list and put it out to the universe in order to meet a need.
Today, the universe called back.
While on Twitter, a dear man and furniture manufacturer messaged me:
Jeff w/TLS by Design
I had only met Jeff Day, once, and that was at a High Point Market Tweet-Up in his showroom for TLS by Design. We’ve shared some tweets but have not always been online at the same times. In fact, we decided that mischievous Twitter had knocked me out of his stream, at some point. When he was copied on a conversation this morning, between Leslie Carothers and me, he realized what the shelter needed and the impact his call could make.
To spare you a longer story, I was able to go to today’s ribbon-cutting with the thrill of telling the board we are going to be getting new furniture for the day room, which currently looks like this:
And with the hopes it will be transformed into something resembling more of this:
Thanks to Jeff and my friend, Maybelline Te, (whose company, Snug Furniture, donated a TV console), for making the day even more amazing. We also have high hopes for a new room full of carpet from Warner’s Rugs and Carpet. The room will be soon be well on it’s way! I’ll still be on the hunt for casegoods, accent chairs, wall art, and lamps, but to have the foundation pieces coming along . . . words cannot express my thanks!
Today was one of those days I wish I could have shared with everyone who has helped to make this happen. This honor isn’t all about me. It’s about you!
And I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
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