Transitions… Designing for a Difference, the starting point.

Rarely do I get the opportunity to do work for a charity where you see the immediate results and reactions from those whom you have helped; which is why the makeover for Transitions is so near and dear to my heart.

Let’s start back at the beginning of this journey…

About 6 months ago I caught wind of a contest being sponsored by the International Design Guild, a premiere resource for interior designers because of IDG’s affiliation with the nation’s largest floor covering cooperative. They were advertising for designers to nominate a charity in need of a makeover worth $20,000! Yeah, 20 G’s yo!… So my search began for a worthy charity.

Through a friend I was introduced to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a 30-year old organization whose core belief is, that all young people – regardless of sexual orientation or identity – deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to thrive. They create a safe haven for those at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

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I visited their downtown Newark location, and was almost instantly moved to tears by the counselor’s stories and the sad state of the center. It’s not that it was in shambles or disarray, it was just neglected and sterile. It was like walking into a detention center. You felt depressed, as opposed to feeling inspired and a sense of community. HMI was going to be my winning charity! These kids needed something uplifting and colorful, much like them!

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This is what these kids have to look forward to when they gather at the end of the day… Plastic chairs lining a stark room… Random donated furniture and the one highly-coveted upholstered chair, which is just… Ugh… I can’t.

These kids need better! They need more! I need to win this contest!

I submitted my entry and crossed my fingers… Let’s see what happens!