For the last several months I have been busy with a very special project. In this situation, we are updating the old farmhouse my client grew up in. First on the To Do List: redesign the bedrooms for two little girls (ages 9 and 7). This was a fun and unique opportunity for me to play in the world of COOL and CUTE.
Here are couple snapshots for your viewing pleasure.
But the fun doesn’t stop there! The 2nd floor hall and dual stairways received a major transformation as well. Stay tuned for more images to follow.
I hate to use the phrase “Mission Accomplished,” but yea, we got it done. For the last several months I have been busy with Building On Hope (BOH) to renovate the Manchester Police Athletic League (MPAL). There was a big push to bring it all together, but we made it happen.
As I’ve mentioned before, the room I was responsible for was a shared office space for the Judo and Aikido coaches. My goal was to create a bright and happy space (despite the lack of exterior windows) while also keeping things somewhat traditionally Zen.
What surprised me most about this project does not have to do with the building itself. I knew when I signed up that the Michael Briggs Community Center was in a tough area of Manchester (corner of Lake Ave and Beech Street). I knew the statistics too: about 8,600 youth living within 1 mile of MPAL; ¼ are minorities and 1/3 live below the poverty line. In all honesty, I didn’t really understand those numbers until the last week of the project.
It was some time around 4pm on Thursday afternoon. I was in the parking lot across from MPAL and kids from the neighborhood came by the tent. Word had gotten out that food was available. Lunch was donated for the BOH crew during the last “Build Week”, and typically there was food leftover. Three kids, five kids… easily 20 kids came by in what could have been 15 minutes. I remember wondering “when had they eaten last? When will they eat again? Was that their dinner?!” This project suddenly became real in an entirely new way.
But my biggest surprise has to be a new appreciation and respect for the police officers themselves. Sure, cops are tough. Cops are serious. Cops like rules and they enforce them. Never did I imagine to experience the kindness, compassion, generosity, humor and heart that police officers have for our community and everyone in it. It doesn’t matter what your situation is either – I saw men and women from every walk of life greeted with warmth and respect. These officers care more than I ever realized.
BOH’s renovation of the MPAL building may have been for the kids, but I see it as an chance for the Manchester PD to help so many more. This project couldn’t have happened to a better organization at a better time. I am proud and honored to be part of it. Best wishes to Officer John Levasseur – you give us hope!
You may recall that Lavender & Lotus participated in Building On Hope’s 2012 extreme makeover to benefit the Girls, Inc. facility in Manchester, NH. Well, we’re at it again!
Building On Hope has selected the Manchester Police Athletic League’s Beech Street location in downtown Manchester, NH for their 2016 project. This organization, otherwise known as MPAL, provides free after school activities including aikido, judo, wrestling, boxing, rugby, and lacrosse as well as academic support from Manchester Police officers.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of our at-risk youth. There are about 8,600 youth living within a mile of MPAL – one fourth are minorities and one third live below the poverty line. With new space and improved facilities, MPAL will continue to build trust between law enforcement and young people, contribute to making a stronger community, and stop problems before they start.
To learn more about how you can help support this project, either with a financial contribution or as a volunteer, contact Aimee. To learn more about Building On Hope and see previous projects, their website is available here.
Some projects are small, some projects are large. Some projects are fast, some projects take years.
As you will recall from previous posts, I have had the fortunate opportunity to participate in the Endicott Hotel renovation for the last year or so. At long last, our chapter has closed on this project and the happy tenants have moved in.
The images below capture the large unit (blues/green), the smaller unit (reds/orange), as well as the common areas we furnished/staged.