Fun with Charities

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Fun?  Sure, we live for solving problems.  For instance, we got a call last August from Extreme Makeover-Home Edition.  They wanted a donation of patio furniture for the Voisines in Manchester.  They knew that it was impossible to custom-make anything in that kind of time, as the patio furniture was kind of an after-thought for them.  They were wondering if we could scare something up from our year-end leftovers.

However, Jeanne loves a challenge. She tracked down the designers, found out what they would want, if they had the time, and then she called Telescope Casual.

You may remember that Jeanne is a Color Consultant to Telescope’s designers.  She works with a small team to choose their fabrics a year before the furniture hits the retail market.  Telescope agreed to drop everything, custom-make furniture for the Voisines, and get it out the door in less than a week.  That’s something the giant chain stores can’t do with their Chinese suppliers.  Nikki and Joe C. volunteered to deliver it to Manchester on their own time, though Nikki was disappointed that Ty was not there to help unload!

Jeanne also worked on a similar project for South Shore Mental Health; putting together coordinated living rooms for eight group homes in Massachusetts.  While we are not really in that business, she put together an indoor furniture retailer in Massachusetts with Sunny Designs (one of our vendors) and a friend of ours with a warehouse in Hanover; to help give mentally ill people a nicer home environment than the government-issue fourth-generation hand me-downs.  The logistics involved were quite amazing.

I had a much simpler project myself; the first hot tub ever granted as   a wish by the Massachusetts Make-A-Wish.  It was for a young man with Muscular Dystrophy and it will be a big help with his therapy.  In the past few years, I have coordinated three hot tubs with New Hampshire Make-A-Wish and two with High Hopes.  Coordinating doesn’t mean that we write a check for $10,000 each time.  It means that we help the family and the charity arrive at the right product and accessories, solicit for vendors and volunteers to donate time and materials, and make it all happen on time.  As with Jeanne’s two projects, it’s about logistics and fund-raising as much as a donation.

It’s fun and rewarding, and we thank you all for your support that allows us, in turn, to support your community.

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