Last October, my designer friend Barb and I were talking over dinner about the holiday season. And by the time we were done with dessert, we had created a way to bring the Spirit of Giving to Asheville in a big way.
The Concept: Invite the community to share the spirit of giving by writing a letter about someone who has a big heart and touches the lives of others.
The Gift: A free room makeover for the recipient of the letter that touches us the most.
The How: We contacted the editor of WNC Women Magazine and she was excited to be involved. The invite was published in the Nov issue, the winning letter with photos of the writer and recipient in the Dec issue and the big reveal would be in the Jan issue. (Until an unexpected twist)
Nominations came flooding in, sharing stories of wonderful friends, family members and acquaintances -inspirational stories of people helping people. It was a difficult task to choose just one winner. But in the end Gayle Sovinee- who spent the last 6 years developing the non profit Helios Warriors- a holistic treatment center for veterans , was chosen.
But when we called to notify Gayle that she won the free makeover for a room in her home, she asked if she could re-gift it to a new office space they were creating for Helios Warriors.
So our free room make-over became so much more:
More: Because of the generous sponsors that donated furniture, accessories, personalized artwork, paint for walls , handmade curtains, photography and videotography and even a mini vacation in a B&B for Gayle.
More- because we actually “made-over” 3 treatment rooms, a meditation room. the bathroom and the reception area.
More: In meeting some of the veterans that Helios helps and hearing their stories..
More: because the big reveal also involved a ribbon cutting with the mayor
More: because the progress of the makeover was actually written up in WNC woman Magazine in Jan, Feb and March with the big reveal in the April issue.
More: because the other letters sent in were featured throughout the year in issues of WNC magazine
We never imagined how big this spirit of giving would be!
You can read more about Gayle and Helios Warriors in my Jan 2012 post (http://inthecreativespirit.com/2012/01)
And you can read more about the room makeover at these links: