This past week, on Friday, May 11th, Door of Hope welcomed Keller Williams Realty for their annual RED Day event. On RED Day (RED standing for Renew, Energize and Donate), Keller Williams associates choose an organization that is making impact in the local community. Gathering together, associates – and others “recruited” for the daylong event – work on a specific area of need that needs improvement. This year the KW team chose Door of Hope and decided that their project would be to overhaul the back apartments, which were in need of some attention – and boy, oh boy, they delivered some serious T.L.C. Beginning at 8 am, the KW team repainted (walls), repaired (toilets), replaced (hardware , lighting fixtures and window blinds), rearranged (furniture) and restored (adding new art and window coverings) the apartments so they were move in ready (I’m claiming that as a “re-“word too!).
Wow. WOW. Several team members raised funds to purchase linens for the back apartments, as well as cleaning supplies (brooms, mops, buckets) and crock pots for healthy, low-cost meals for both the Pasadena and Glendale sites.
If that weren’t enough, there was food and these very decadent ice-cream sandwiches that came to Door of Hope in a very cool (pun intended) food truck.
And then, the art! Dan Povenmire, co-creator of the animated TV show Phineas and Ferb entertained DOH kids (and fascinated adults), drawing a host of P&F characters and quizzing the kids in a sort of “Who’s Who” in the cartoon world. He and a fellow cartoonist drew pictures for the kids from both sites, and yes, there was a picture of Phineas and Ferb drawn just for Door of Hope.
It was quite a day. We were overwhelmed. In a good way.
Red Day also offered me a blast from my past. One of their sponsors for the day is someone I have known since I was eight years old. Sheri Alford, owner of Smooth Transitions (household downsizing and estate disbursal services) was my best friend in elementary school. I haven’t seen her since we graduated in ….well, we don’t need to go there, do we?
Adam (our inaugural DOH blogger and my literary counterpart) asked me how I remembered her after “all these years” (thanks, Adam). Sheri isn’t someone easily forgotten. Bright, kind and funny, she loved Christopher Reeve as much as I did (the X-Gen’s Superman, kids). She could dance and was a terrific actress. Sheri challenged me to be a better student. She included me in lunchtime foursquare games and didn’t care that I was…kind of different. At Halloween, I was the Mad Scientist and she was my Igor. Things happened when Sheri showed up, because she was so vivacious and fun.
I remember going to Sheri’s house. She had a beautiful bedroom, an awesome Barbie playhouse, and Mystery Date game. She had cable TV – not an antenna. But it wasn’t what she had – it was her home life. Her family was calm, her brothers well-mannered, and her home organized and safe. When I visited Sheri’s house, it was like going to another world. I mean no disrespect to my own family - I had parents who loved me and provided for our needs. But the truth is, our family was pretty chaotic. We had a lot of issues.
So as I went back to writing a grant, I remembered many things. Then I made the real connection: this is why I am at Door of Hope. Why? Because I have felt it: the chaos, the turmoil, the crisis, and the fear. It is not insurmountable – it just takes perseverance and determination, which comes through faith, hope and love. Generously supplied by people like you and everyone who supported the Keller Williams Red Day.
It was so lovely to see you, Sheri. Thank you, Keller Williams for an incredible day at Door of Hope and helping rebuild lives.