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