Giving back - Make a Difference Design Studio

Last year, I began searching for ways our company could give back to the community through interior design. In searching for nonprofits that could use design services, I discovered Operation Homefront, a nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive — not simply struggle to get by — in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. This is the perfect first project for our new Make a Difference (MAD) Design Studio, with the goal of making a difference in the lives of others, through design. Here's a look at our first project.

 {April and Kyler Olejnik, Director of the Gaithersburg Transitional Housing Village, ready to get work.}

{April and Kyler Olejnik, Director of the Gaithersburg Transitional Housing Village, ready to get work.}

Operation Homefront has a Transitional Housing Program that allows wounded, ill, and injured service members to live rent free with their families while they transition from military to civilian life. Operation Homefront runs three Transitional Housing Villages, one in San Diego, a second in San Antonio and the third in Gaithersburg, MD, which serves primarily those being treated at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda.

 {Getting set up to start installing!}

{Getting set up to start installing!}

The transitional apartments are fully furnished, but my goal is to provide higher quality furnishings and decor for these apartments to enhance the lives of the military families who are living there. This goal requires donations of furnishings from other businesses and this is what I’ve been working on facilitating for a few months. While I haven’t been able to secure the furnishings quite yet, Sofas ETC has partnered with me to donate art and lighting for an apartment.

 {April hanging a piece of artwork in the soon-to-be dining room.}

{April hanging a piece of artwork in the soon-to-be dining room.}

On April 23rd, we had the pleasure of delivering the art and lamp, installing the artwork and helping a bit with overall furniture placement for two new units. I believe a well-designed and beautiful space can enhance your life and provide a respite from the troubles of your day. I hope that this will be our first of many donations to this great program and will be just the start of our MAD Design Studio. Thank you to Sofas Etc. for your support and participation!

 {The donated artwork and table lamp truly add the perfect finishing touches to the living room.}

{The donated artwork and table lamp truly add the perfect finishing touches to the living room.}

While we were working with Kyler in the new apartments, we all realized that the best position for the TVs in these units would be mounted on the wall with a swing arm for easy viewing. We knew that one of our preferred contractors, Ransom Construction, was interested in assisting with the Transitional Housing project so we connected Kyler with Randy Sanger, president & owner of Ransom Construction, so they could arrange to have the TVs installed. Randy's team was able to come out quickly to install the two TVs and ensure they are safely secured on the walls. Thanks Ransom Construction for your willingness to quickly help!

 {One of two TVs installed by Ransom Construction. Just waiting on a cabinet for the AV equipment.}

{One of two TVs installed by Ransom Construction. Just waiting on a cabinet for the AV equipment.}

 {April and Design Assistant, Heather Brown, soaking in the results.}

{April and Design Assistant, Heather Brown, soaking in the results.}

If you work for or know a furniture/home furnishings company, furniture manufacturer or business that would like to partner with MAD Design Studio, please contact us, we'd love have a conversation about how we can work together to enhance the lives of others through design!


ABOUT THE TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM

Operation Homefront

The Transitional Housing Program provides rent-free, two and three bedroom apartments to wounded, ill and injured warriors and their families as they leave the military. Many of these families face the financial burdens associated with traveling back and forth to be with their loved one when they are far apart, as well as the challenges of their service member’s recovery and rehabilitation processes. 

Operation Homefront Village apartments are designed to enable families to heal together, while bridging what can be a lengthy gap between when military pay ends and veteran benefits begin, or when veterans’ disability claims are reviewed and received. The Villages relieve the financial stress and provide a comprehensive package of individualized family support and financial planning services. Each participating family is provided with: Rent-free, utility-free, fully furnished apartment, one-on-one financial counseling and case management.

Since 2008, the Villages have housed over 500 military families, providing them with nearly 4,700 months of rent and utilities free housing, saving them more than $5.2 million. In 2017, the Villages provide nearly 70 families with over 330 months of free housing, saving them more than $425,000.


ABOUT SOFA’S ETC

Sofas Etc Logo Upholstery Baltimore Maryland Interior Design

Sofas ETC is dedicated to providing maximum possibilities at the guaranteed lowest prices. We are a fourth-generation furniture family that takes great pride in offering the latest styles and fashions, expert design advice, and excellent customer service. Being dedicated to upholstery allows us to showcase the largest selection of sofas and sectionals in the Maryland region. All of our hand-picked manufactures have hundreds of fabrics to choose from and our selection of leather is unsurpassed. Please drop in or call one of our two locations for an appointment.


ABOUT RANSOM CONSTRUCTION

RansomConstructionLogo.jpg

Ransom Construction Inc. is a family-owned business that can assist you with your construction needs. We provide professional services to homeowners and businesses throughout the Greater Baltimore, Washington and Annapolis areas. From start to finish, we take care of all the details. With over twenty years of experience, we take pride in our attention to detail and high level of customer service. Our goal is to make projects as seamless and stress-free as possible for our clients. 

April Pardoe