P.O. Box 1055 Doylestown, PA 18901 info@deservingdecor.org 215-550-5674

Deserving Decor: Getting into bed with a new partner!

Deserving Décor is happy to announce its new partnership with OHAAT (One House at a Time), a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that is working to end child bedlessness through a program called Beds for Kids.

Many social service agencies in Bucks County help low-income families obtain housing, but few provide the basic household necessities such as furniture or beds. As a result, children are forced to sleep on the floor, on sofas, or crowded into one bed with several family members.

Sleeping arrangements such as these often lead to poor sleep, which goes together with poor health and poor school performance. OHAAT’s Beds for Kids program delivers beds, bedding, and tools that encourage healthy bedtime habits, directly to the homes of children in need. With beds of their very own, children can get the quality and sufficient sleep they need to thrive.

As of January 14, 2017, OHAAT began delivering beds to child clients of Deserving Décor on a weekly basis. The new collaboration provides a faster turnaround guaranteeing all requests submitted by Deserving Décor before Wednesday morning will be delivered Saturday of the same week.

With the help of OHAAT, and your generous contributions, for $161.00 child clients will receive a new twin-size steel frame, a twin Tempurpedic mattress, new twin-size sheet set, new blanket, new pillow, books, stuffed animal and a toothbrush.

In addition, Good Stuff Thrift, another Deserving Décor partner continues to deliver furniture essentials to two Deserving Décor client families per week.  Good Stuff Thrift accepts dressers, nightstands, tables, and chairs, as donations – the furniture most needed by Deserving Décor clients. For a furniture pick-up please call the Fairless Hills store, at 215-428-2800.

With the new partnership well underway, I can guarantee that tonight I will sleep a little more soundly knowing there are fewer children sleeping on the floor.

 

Is Your Champagne Glass Half Full?

It’s officially 2017!  As we enter into the New Year I take notice of the common summation of 365 days deposited into one of two phrases; a “Good Year” or a “Bad Year”.  If you are practicing mindfulness, a New Year’s resolution of my own, you can recognize that summing up an entire year filled with individual moments spanning over 525,600 minutes seems unfeasible.

No doubt life has a way of throwing us wicked curve balls; some pack a punch so hard the blow lingers throughout the year, sometimes even longer. I know this because I’ve been there. Whether you’ve dealt with the loss of a loved one, a life-threatening clinical diagnoses or an unwanted outcome of a volatile presidential election, you’ve suffered just the same. But even in these situations, good things can be found.

Sure, you may not have encountered a particular windfall or a soul moving miracle to counteract the hardship you faced that year, but trust me the good moments were there – you just needed to acknowledge them. They can be as simple as having a roof over your head to a bout of uncontrollable laughter with friends, the sound of the ocean, or perhaps the unexpected perk you received from that rewards program you signed up for a few months ago. Whatever they may be it’s up to you to find them.

So before you categorize year 2016 remember to consider the moments passed; not by the handful but all 525,600 of them.

‘Tis The Season!

As I look under the Christmas tree, there is no denying the giving season is here! Presents wrapped in festive ribbons and colorful bows conceal the floor beneath them. Collectively they form a handsome display; one I never seem to grow tired of.

At this time of year we tend to offer a little more of ourselves and welcome the opportunity to bestow our generosity upon others. Some people prefer to offer their time, while others contribute financial donations to those less fortunate. In whatever manner we choose, December is clearly a time of giving.

But, it should also be a time for TAKING!

It should be a time to take in all that is currently good in your life; anything from your closest relationships, to your achievements, your health or your career. For me, it’s the little things. The moments when my family and I just hang out on a Sunday morning in our PJ’s, and drink hot chocolate by the Christmas tree. It’s the smile I get from a stranger when I’ve made her laugh out loud, the kindness I see in others, and the comedy that often ensues between my husband and me.

Of course there are the big things too, like my mother recovering from breast cancer, the safety of our community, and ability to provide a loving home for our children. These are all gifts that have been given to me. Graciously, I take them for what they are…moments of happiness!

My favorite part of Christmas has always been and will continue to be the act of giving, but I encourage you to take a second to recognize the gifts life has given you.

Cheers to a wonderful Holiday Season!

A Bucks County Treasure

Have you ever read an article or heard a story that stopped you in your tracks? That is exactly how I was affected when I first I discovered Beth Baker and her nonprofit Deserving Décor (DD).  I found this charity online while I was trying to find a way to use my creative energy for the greater good. As I learned about Beth and her organization, I was impressed by what this team of volunteers was accomplishing. Their Mission Statement simply reads: “supplying kids’ beds and furniture essentials to women and children escaping domestic abuse, homelessness, and teens aging out of foster care”.  But what Deserving Décor actually provides is a great deal more. Their efforts have been helping to relieve suffering and strengthen family units in Bucks County since 2008.

Years ago, I had a similar desire to do compassionate work, the big stuff; the Peace Corps, mission work in Africa, or Haiti. That work sounded appealing. When my Peace Corps dreams did not materialize, I put those ideas about compassionate work on the back burner. If I did feel a tug at my heart, from time to time, a voice inside was quick to placate me with, “That’s just the way it is”, or “I’m only one person; what can I possibly do?” After years of convincing myself that I could not do anything, I received a wake-up call by way of an online search. Looking into the work that Deserving Décor is doing in Bucks County, I realized I could no longer make excuses or convince myself that there is nothing I can do. Beth Baker showed me exactly how one person can make a difference when they decide to. Her example was proof that every one of us has the power to create change and make life better for others. I had to admit, I’d come a long way from my Peace Corps dreams. For years, I had chosen to look away from those struggling with poverty right in our own county.  After seeing DD’s efforts, it became impossible for me to look the other way.

In 2014, Beth Baker was named Ted Lindeman Foundation’s “Humanitarian of the Year”. Humanitarians move from the desire to help to the action of helping. Many people have the desire to improve lives, but a true humanitarian must do the work. Deserving Décor does the work that improves lives. They alleviate suffering and offer hope, one person at a time. This organization helps those who are in desperate, abusive situations, many with nowhere to turn and often impoverished in a material, as well as a spiritual sense.

Deserving Décor helps restore lives. Not just providing beds, tables, and chairs, they also offer kindness, respect, and hope. This non-profit delivers furnishings that turn a house into a home, help alleviate the shame of poverty, create a space for families, and begin to build more connected neighborhoods. How many lives are affected by these efforts is impossible to ascertain. But, Deserving Décor has made some simple truths clear to me:

  • One truly motivated person is all that you need to do a world of good.
  • There is no need to leave Bucks County to help those in need.
  • We have people living in poverty right in Bucks County.
  • This is the big stuff.
  • It’s only “just the way it is” because no one has changed it yet.
  • And finally, if I offer my hand to help another, that is enough.

Denise Palmer, Deserving Decor Project Coordinator – Housewarming Helpers program

Old Clothes Find a New Purpose!

clothing-swap-red-sign

Every girl needs a little black dress… especially one that’s free!

In an effort to raise money for Deserving Décor’s Beds for Kids Campaign I decided to host a clothing swap. It’s a fun approach to yet another fundraiser and one that you don’t feel guilty asking your friends to contribute to.

Here’s how it works: I charged $15.00 at the door and provided a hefty selection of wine, appetizers and desserts for my guests (all from Trader Joes of course). I asked the women to each bring 2-3 clothing items they’ve grown tired of, or let’s face it just don’t fit quite the same way, and have remained in good condition. The items would then be up for grabs for all attendees at no cost.

I can’t tell you how many women showed up with clothes that still had tags on them. I ‘m pretty certain we’ve all committed the fashion felony of permitting a brand new piece of clothing to sit in our closet only to be forgotten and essentially never worn: a crime against fashion, an endowment to the clothing swap selection.

After a few snacks and several glasses of wine, the women were given 15-minutes to peruse the clothing display. Each guest then chose a number written on a mini-wooden spool out of an old cloche hat. In numerical order, the women took turns selecting one item at a time. We continued until the only items left were clearly not meant for forty and over.

We shared a ton of laughs over our picks and nearly every piece of clothing had a story to accompany it. I couldn’t believe how giddy everyone got over clothes. It was nice to see my friends admiring each others contributions. They sort of brought the clothing back to life, so much so I briefly contemplated taking back the very items I put out. Yes, I suppose I was giddy too!

In the end the party was an absolute success. Every woman thanked me for a great night and left feeling excited about their new attire. I on the other hand raised $200.00, just shy of two children’s beds and walked away with a killer black dress – Thanks, Swarna!