Many of us may take our comfortable beds for granted each night, but for some a bed may be a luxury, especially those women and children escaping domestic violence or struggling with homelessness. Believing that every child deserves a bed to sleep and dream in, Beth Baker founded Deserving Décor to provide these families with the basic necessities that make a house into a home.
Originally, Beth’s work began by creating makeovers for homeless shelter housing, providing furniture and other basic household items. She worked with a small group of volunteers and provided goods gathered through community donations, loading items into the back of her small pickup truck and making weekly deliveries.
Today, Deserving Décor has shifted its focus to helping individuals and families who are transitioning into their own housing. Clients may be coming from a homeless shelter, escaping domestic violence, or may be teens who are aging out of the foster care system. They often have very little in the way of material goods or money to be able to furnish a house. Beth and her team provide the essentials that transform a house into a place that families can call home. Kitchen tables, sofas, chairs, kitchen items and most importantly beds are just some of the many items delivered.
Connie DeLaruelle, the Housewarming Helpers Coordinator, organizes deliveries of household items such as towels, kitchen items and bathroom necessities. She says working with Deserving Décor has been a life changing experience for her. “You worry about not having something and then you see someone who has nothing. It gives you a different perspective on your life when you do this work.”
The Doylestown based non-profit works in cooperation with Good Stuff Thrift to carry out its mission. The thrift store picks up donations, stores furniture in its warehouse and provides a truck for the weekly deliveries to clients. Although thankful for the cooperative effort, Beth and her volunteer staff are working hard to hopefully acquire their own warehouse space.
In the planning stages, Baker hopes to develop a furniture bank, where clients can pick out the furniture they need and then have it delivered. Also, their own storage space is key to the operation’s growth. Currently, furniture donations are stored in one location and the house hold items are kept elsewhere. “We could serve so many more people if we could gather everything under one roof,” says Baker. Still, last year, Deserving Décor served 160 clients, 87 of them children.
While many of the items delivered to clients are in good, used condition, new beds are provided through One House at a Time (OHAAT) and their Beds for Kids program. Children receive a twin bed, bedding, pillow, several books and a toothbrush, everything they need to help them get a good night’s sleep. Deserving Décor is always in need of contributions to fund this vital part of their program and enable them to make the purchases on their client’s behalf.
Beyond donating finances or material goods, DIY projects can benefit the families served by Deserving Décor. Much of the used furniture the group receives are sturdy pieces, but not always very attractive. Refinishing these pieces adds new life and brings functionality to client’s homes. “There’s a lot you can do with paint and some hardware,” says Baker “and our clients really appreciate receiving something beautiful that they know someone put time and care into.” She comments that a refinishing project is great for school or service groups to tackle and some students have even completed work for their high school senior projects. Contact Beth at [email protected] for details on how you or your group can help with these projects.
If you are interested in making donations of furniture, contact Good Stuff Thrift at 215-428-2800 to schedule a pickup. Household good donations and pickups can be scheduled by contacting the Housewarming Helpers Coordinator, Connie DeLaruelle, at [email protected]. Monetary donations can be made online at the organization’s website or by mail. For more information on donating, visit www.deservingdecor.org.