community project 2009

As a member of Home Stagers Atlantic (HSA), rouge was proud to be the chair of the first annual community project. For the first time, the members of HSA chose a deserving organization and redecorated their space. 

A community resource centre located in a low-income housing neighbourhood was chosen because it desperately needed a new look. The folks here do incredible work with very, very few resources. Every cent they get goes directly into running the programs and services they offer.  We were thrilled to be able to make their space a bit more welcoming and comfortable.

The project planning went well and we were on track to take over the center during the last week of June. The entire project was done in one week, so we could give the newly revived centre back to the staff and community.

As with any group volunteer project, there were the usual challenges — too many great ideas and not enough time to execute them all, and the “too many cooks in the kitchen” syndrome.

Everyone who participated in the project was incredibly generous with their time and energy.  And our collective contacts and suppliers were beyond generous — almost all of the supplies needed for the project were donated. A large number of people really came together to make this a success.

It was a huge transformation — the entire first floor was completely redesigned to increase the functionality of the space and make it more inviting.

Two coats of paint on all walls, doors, trim and in the stairwells, new extended countertops in the kitchen, new entrance seating area & coffee station, a custom built bench with storage and throw pillows, a new curtain treatment used to separate program rooms, a kid’s reading / waiting area, a recycled armoire and book shelves, computer desk, phone station, a designated trading post area, new large bulletin board and all new artwork.

The centre staff were thrilled with the final result. There were lots of “Oh my God…did you see this?” and other happy screams of delight at the unveiling.  The executive director was overwhelmed. 

She later said ” …you’ve all shown our clients, most of whom are new to the country and are struggling, such respect with this project. Every detail was carefully considered with our clients in mind. It’s something they don’t often get and that means more than I can say.”

I never would have guessed that a redecorating job could have that kind of effect. Our project went much deeper for the folks at the centre than any of us had anticipated.

To me, that certainly made it all worthwhile.  And it made me think about how sometimes small things can be very big things.  

I’m proud to have been a part of it.


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