NOTE:This post was originally published in www.cre8tivecompassmagazine.com in 2009. I chaired a project that brought a dozen artists from around the country-to NOLA -many not knowing each other- to paint together in a Habitat House that www.thehousethatfauxbuilt.com financed.With the new hurricane affecting NOLA this month, I found mysef reminiscing…..
Do you remember the movie “Pay it Forward”?
I love its message: if you help someone in some way and ask only that that person helps someone else (pay it forward), a beautiful flow of heartfelt energy will eventually circle the world.
Yet when I asked Laine Discepoli and Jane Drew (my cohorts in The House That Faux Built, NOLA Habitat House project), what prompted them to step up to the plate and take on hours of phone calls, emails, meetings, brainstorm sessions and being ambassadors for this event – while still managing their business’ and families? Lane simply said: “I want to pay it forward.”
While helping her husband battle a serious illness this past year, Laine was touched by the endless support and offerings shown to them by others. Even the simplest act of kindness was huge. So when Adrienne Vandooren put the word out that the proceeds of the book The House That Faux Built had raised enough money to build a Habitat House for a Katrina victim, Laine contacted her and said she wanted to help. After all, she just may be the biggest fan of the book. Since it’s been published, Laine has constantly used it to help get ideas for jobs, as well as to help educate her clients and students of the endless possibilities our craft has. Not sure if she could pull it off or not, Laine took the responsibility of Sponsor chair. Can you imagine asking for donations without knowing what materials are needed because the client has not made any decisions? And yet Laine did a remarkable job.
I can only imagine the devastation she felt when the place she calls home was destroyed. Yet in the short time I’ve known her, Jane has been upbeat, positive and filled with gratitude for all the help and support others have shown in efforts to rebuild New Orleans. When she learned of the desire for the PDCA to come and create beautiful finishes in some New Orleans buildings last year, she volunteered to find some locations to do so, and became their project manager. Despite the long hours and hard work, Jane found this experience so rewarding, that she jumped on the chance to be the Local coordinator for the Habitat project. Her passion is to turn others on to the magic that New Orleans has, and without her energy and commitment, it would have been almost impossible to coordinate the finishes we will be doing in the house or to be prepared to do a mural in the SPCA. If it weren’t for Jane’s contacts and tenacity, we wouldn’t have been offered a charming historic B&B in which to stay for such an affordable rate – nor would we have tools, drop cloths, ladders, etc. ready to use when we arrive..
And so I acknowledge these two beautiful, amazing ladies who exude the energy of giving back.