“The place God calls you to is the place
where your deep gladness
and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Once upon a time I did interior design work for a living and occasionally, from time to time, I still dapple in the home decorating arts. I was never the fanciest, or the best, or the trendiest designer. But I think perhaps I was one of the most personal. No matter how large or small the job, I always did my best to learn as much about the client as possible - their story, their history, their hobbies, their great loves, their interest - and take all of my cues from those things. I look for old typewriters for the writer and commissioned sketches of pets for the animal lover and scrounged through attics for old land maps for the landowner.
A few years ago, while I was still designing, I heard a story on NPR about a new sort of Nursing Home, called The Green House Project, which is a "a revolution in long-term care, creating small homes that return control, dignity, and a sense of well-being to elders, while providing high-quality, personalized care. A Green House home differs from a traditional nursing home in terms of facility size, interior design, organizational structure, staffing patterns, and methods of delivering skilled professional services. Green House homes are designed from the ground up to look and feel like a real home."
I cried big fat welpy tears during the entire story, listening to how the creation of an intentional, warm, nurturing, home-like environment had improved the lives of seniors that many had given up on. I knew then and there, that if an opportunity like The Green House Project ever came my way I would fight tooth and nail to be a part of it.
Well, something similar has finally come along.
For a few years now, our family has been involved with a local ministry called The One, Inc. (or "The Van" as it is more commonly known around here) that works with the homeless population in Central Arkansas. Recently, The One purchased a home in my town to be a short-term emergency refuge (which I have nicknamed The Nest) for women and children who need off the streets or out of a dangerous situation NOW. Before they have their papers ready. After business hours. Together. (All hurdles to getting into many traditional more long-term shelters.)
I am over the moon excited to say that I have been blessed to bring my great gladness in creating healing, comfy, personal spaces to this great need for a safe, happy, inviting place for women and children in our area.
But I can't do it alone. I need help fluffing this nest.
And I am thinking that maybe shopping, decorating, and gathering may be parts of your great gladness as well.
Which is why I am asking you, my sweet friends, for help.
These are the inspiration boards for each of the rooms in the house. As with everything The One, Inc does, one of the values of The Nest project is to honor our homeless women and children friends with dignity and kindness, and to provide them with hope through this refuge. To that end we are being incredibly intentional about how we furnish and decorate the house, putting as much thought and care into it we would about our own homes. We will be using some gently used furnishings and items, but we are asking for donations of new items for a large part of the project. I am calling this the "least shall be first" approach to design.
My hope is that this house will be NICER than my house, that we show our love and value for our neighbors by doing more for them, than we would do for ourselves.
So here are the ways you can help:
* Are you an artist or a crafter? Do you have an Etsy shop? Would you like to donate a print or a piece of art or a pillow? I would LOVE to put as many handmade and unique pieces in the house as possible!
* Do you love to shop? All the items from our inspiration boards can be purchased from our Target Wish List, with prices ranging from $4.00-$300.00 Maybe you have a women's group at church who would like to get in on this fun action - you could all go in together and adopt a room or specific need like towels.
* We are also happily accepting gift cards to any and all home design and improvement stores - Target, Kohls, Wal-Mart, Home Goods, Lowes, Home Depot, Michaels etc.
* You can also make Paypal Donations HERE
* Spread the Word! Share the Target List , Share this Post - share them on Twitter and Facebook and Google and by Email and word of mouth!
Have more ideas? Simply send them to ahomemadeyear (at) gmail dot com or email me for the address or leave a comment on this post.
So who is in??
Who wants to fluff The Nest?
Who wants to help make this little refuge a healing space for women and children?
(I knew you would!!)