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It was a whirlwind! On Monday, I went to see the apartments of two families from NCCF that were in desperate need of some help.  Both are single moms sharing a one bedroom apartment with their young child.  One mom has another child due in two weeks,  creating an added challenge of fitting three into a tiny bedroom.  I spoke with the moms about what they needed and they came up with a list of must haves: a toaster, a bassinet , a table for the lamps and a few educational toys would be nice.  Of course I thought they needed much more than that.

Tuesday, I searched the donation storage at Greentree Shelter and chose the pieces that I thought would work best for each family.  Then I was off to a local thrift store and Homegoods to gather the bed linens, towels, curtains and accessories needed to brighten up the spaces.  I painted furniture, recovered chairs and fell into bed.

Wednesday, Nick (the  saint from Greentree that picks up and delivers the donated furniture) filled up his truck with the items I chose and moved them into the apartments–(we also filled two vans). After sorting what went to which apartment and I went to work.  I couldn’t have done it with out the help of  my dear friends, Amy, Debbie and Tricia–and my husband, Tom.  They volunteered to do whatever I needed–iron, scrub floors, hang pictures, put up curtains,  run to the store for more sheets, anything!  The result was a real  “home” that these two young families can now enjoy.  I  carved out a play area in the living room in each of the apartments so that the children could have a space to call their own.  The moms got a desk area of their own.  The bedrooms got new dressers and brighter linens and curtains.  Pictures were hung on the once bare walls and new shower curtains and towels filled their bathrooms.

The mothers and their young children are very happy and appreciative, “it feels like a home”.  NOW,  I can rest  because I know that two more families have a real HOME.  Stay tuned for more…

Apartment 1 living room before…

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Living room after…

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Bedroom for Mom and Son Before…

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And after…

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bathroom before…

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and after…

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Play area in living room before…

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and after…

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Dining room before …

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and after…

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Apartment 2 living room before…

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and after…

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Bedroom for mom and daughter (and soon to be baby)…before…

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and after…

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greentree-0353Not too long ago, with a big birthday coming up, I made a decision.  I wanted to use my creative energy and enthusiasm to bring joy into peoples lives by creating wonderful experiences for them that fills their heart with joy and gives them everlasting memories.  I wrote it down and reflected on it daily.  It gave me the impetus to start my business, A Point of Hue Interiors.  I love to help create spaces that make people happier.  It’s a joy, and a lot of work, but I love it.  Unknowly, this desire, brought me to Greentree Shelter (NCCF).  My husband announced to me one day that we were going over to Greentree for a orientation meeting to sign up to volunteer there.  I was so busy already that I wasn’t really enthusiastic and wasn’t sure what I could really do to help.  At the meeting I listened to them describe the Family Integration Program, where families move from the shelter into their own apartment for 18 months to transition into a safer and more productive life.  BINGO ! That’s it ! What better use of my creative energy than to help these families  by brightening up their homes and bring some joy into their lives !  The staff at NCCF was very enthusiastic and encouraged me to get started right away.  The result was a very happy young mother and her adorable 18 month old enjoying living in their brightly furnished apartment!  My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting them this week, and it was pure joy to see them enjoying their new home.  The little girl brought me in to see her room and showed me her Elmo, and My Little Kitty purse and her lovely bed that she goes night-night in– all donated by those of you who answered my emails!

We now have 3 more families to help!  I mentioned in my e-mail that cleaning supplies are at a premium, and small size dressers.  I was struck by one thing that the case worker told me regarding needing a dresser for these little girls.  Their clothes are still in suitcases, and it would make them realize that they are “home” if they could put their clothes away in a dresser.  These apartments are small, and the challenge is to find furniture on a smaller scale that doesn’t overwhelm the space.

I will keep you all posted with more before and after pictures as we help more families in need.  Call me or email me with anything that you’d like to donate to these families.  KNOW THAT YOUR DONATION IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN BRINGING JOY INTO THE LIVES OF OTHERS BY MAKING THEIR HOUSE INTO A REAL HOME.  For some of these families it is the first home they’ve had in a very long time.  And for some of these children it IS the first home they’ve ever had.

Thank you, friends.

I spent the weekend clearing out, cleaning out and reorganizing my own home.  My children have all left the nest, (as of Saturday) and I used the occasion to de-clutter and reorganize several rooms and closets (trying not to cry).  September is a great month to get your house in order.  I know it’s “spring cleaning” that gets all the hype ,  but  fall is the perfect time to spruce up your home.  The lighting is different at this time of year,  everything  just feels warmer and cozier as the days get shorter.  I love to pull out my “fall accessories” and sprinkle my mantles and bookshelves with autumness.

If the spirit of the fall season moves you to De-clutter, think about other ways to use the items either in your own home (re-purpose), or DONATE them to families in need.  My linen closet produced 4 bags of sheets and towels that we no longer need.  I organized them by size and color to use in the homes of the families I will be helping at Greentree.

Once you’ve de-cluttered, it’s a great time to paint !  Spruce up before the Holidays !  I’m here to help you pick that perfect “hue” .

Mission Accomplished!

September 2nd, 2009

All the furniture is in place, the dishes washed and put away, the pictures up on the walls and the beds made, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  My friend, Amy, lovingly helped me transform this bare, depressing apartment into a warm and inviting home for this young mother and her daughter.  I wasn’t there when she arrived home, but her caseworker described to me  that she was in tears!  She loved it.  Her daughter wasn’t with her last night, so tonight will be her introduction!  I sure wish I could be there to see her light up when she sees all the toys and books and her own little chairs to sit in.  Knowing that we were able to make such a large difference in the quality of the their life warms my heart, and should warm all who donated something to this new home.  Everyone was so generous!

I am going over tonight to meet them both and take some pictures to frame for them.

Here are some “After” shots.

Livingroom after

diningroom view

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The Before Pictures

September 2nd, 2009

Loading upWell, I am completely exhausted, but it was so worth it!  Started early loading up my car.  The movers from the shelter picked up a couch from my friend, and stopped by my house to take the other bigger items that I had received.  Then I was met by the NCCF staff over at the apartment and they helped me haul it all up the third floor apartment.  Seeing the empty apartment, with nothing, and knowing that they have been living there for the last 2 weeks like that was humbling.  No light or lamp in the bedrooms at all.  Check out the before…

The Livingroom/diningroom

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The kitchen with 1 pot, no dishes or silverwarebedroombabys roomempty shelves

Donations for Greentree FamilyOver the last 5 days, I have gathered and sorted an array of donations of household items from many of my friends and neighbors to furnish and decorate a two bedroom apartment of a single mom and her 18 month old daughter.  Today and tomorrow is  move in/set-up day!  I can’t wait to see the delight in this little girl’s eyes when sees a basket full of stuffed animals, her own little rocking chair, her crib dressed in a sweet bumper and a play table adorned with an assortment of appropriate toys.  Her mother will be able to relax on two sofas, put her feet up on a coffee table, and place her clothes in a dresser.  Their kitchen will have a microwave, toaster and brand new dishes and glasses—Many thanks to all of you for contributing to the well being of this family in great need!

I have been hauling and sorting and cleaning…you should see my garage! (pictured above)  Bringing this assortment together and making it work is going to be the real challenge for me!  I made stops at Homegoods, Target, Bed/Bath & Beyond and Marshalls, hunting out deals for a few items to fill in the gaps and brighten up the space.

Now it’s time to work some redesign magic! This is truly a case of “working with what you have”.  Wish I could paint the walls, but that isn’t allowed (darn).  You know how I love COLOR !

Any items I don’t use for this home, I am squirreling away for the next family in need.  So keep me on your call list in the future.

Stay tuned!

With love,

Kathy