The Gift that grew…..

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.

photo from Career portfolio

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.

Helios Warriors meditation room

Helios Warriors meditation room


More: In the number of volunteers that gave their talents , skills and labor in constructing and priming the walls and electrical work.

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 (

Gayle at the big reveal

Gayle at the Big Reveal


And you can read more about the room makeover at these links:


About lynadawn

Faux finisher certified w/ City and Guilds of London Dec Art and Restoration. Author, teacher, consultant, co-host Artistically Speaking Radio Show. Also creative brainstormer, love to laugh, latte anyone?
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2 Responses to The Gift that grew…..

  1. Michael says:

    beautiful gift and phenomenal story…

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