I'll take a step back and say we had a small army on this project, including a fleet of teen volunteers from TVIA, Teen Volunteers in Action. In addition, Cecily's Closet worked with our fabulous and talented designer and muralist, Inside Emily Dolton's Head, and our supremely gifted painter, PaintGreen, and a newcomer but a very welcome and needed addition - Ryan McDaniel's Contracting. The 3 professionals made these rooms come to life in a way I could never have anticipated or dreamed of! The professionals were supported by a lovely group of well-mannered, responsible, bright and energetic teenage boys! This dedicated group rolled up their sleeves and helped with every task from painting to cleaning, to building to shopping. We were not sure how we'd do with so many volunteers but by all accounts the weekend was a very big success!
Now back to my memorable moment... Cole, our interviewer took his time to come up with a list of questions to ask the family. He was a natural and he adapted his questions to the responses he received. I was very impressed as I don't think that is an easy thing to do without a lot of experience.
The family responded thoughtfully to the questions asked and they spoke from the heart about the misconceptions of raising a child with special needs. I related in such a deeply and personal way. A child with a disability is still a child first and foremost. To a parent there is not a difference. As a parent of two children, one with special needs and one without - I feel very passionate about creating a world of acceptance where labels are not put forth to define our child but rather to help with the assistance required to make a safer and better place for our children to grow and thrive.
This is the thank you letter we received after our efforts.
"I wanted to thank your team again for all the hard work, creativity, time, and commitment that was put into the boys rooms. You guys have truly blessed our family with such an amazing gift, memories, and so much more that words cannot begin to describe to our family's gratification. It means so much that Cecily's Closet chose our family and I know that Barris and Kensington will have so many fond memories in their new rooms. We could only dream of having such gorgeous rooms and atmosphere for the boys, thanks to your organization that dream has become a reality. We are regretful that we did not get a photograph of you and Emily with the boys. We were so taken by the rooms that it slipped our mind. Once the boys woke up, they were so excited running from room to room playing. We look forward to hearing from you for future project so that we can also assist in helping other families dreams come true. Thank you again so much."
Onwards and upwards!