This sounds like a cool something that EVERYONE WOULD WANT!!! Trust me; pray to God that you never have to be on the receiving side of this wonderful non-profit organization. Dec My Room is a non-profit organization that was started in 2007 by Susan Plank and her daughter Kendall. The mission of the organization is to transform hospital rooms of children and young adults who are admitted for a prolonged amount of time (at least 3 weeks). Volunteers are given information about the patient (age, likes, interests, favorite colors, teams, etc) and then a budget of $300 to shop and then Dec out the patient’s room.
The story of how this charity was founded is so cool.Susan and her daughter (in the picture) were asked to visit a young family friend from Austin who was being admitted to Texas Children’s Hospital for his second bone marrow transplant. Because he would be in the hospital for at least 4 weeks, they wanted to do something special so the stay was not as bad.They found out that he was OBSESSED with the University of Texas (this was funny because Susan’s family are huge Aggie fans) and started shopping. By the time this young man entered the hospital; his room was decked out from top to bottom in burnt orange, a comfy comforter, pictures, and much more. As Susan and Kendall were leaving the hospital, Kendall asked if they could decorate more rooms!
I stumbled upon this wonderful charity when I was a confirmation sponsor for my niece Paige. I wanted to find some type of organization that we could get involved with together. Unfortunately, things got busy and we weren’t able to look more into the organization. A few months later Christa sent me the Dec My Room volunteer paperwork (she remembered when I told her about the organization) and the next thing you know we were signed up for training. They do a background check so that the volunteers who are shopping and entering the hospital are safe people.
A week after we scheduled our training we received an email about one of their two fundraising events (this year it was a luncheon held at Artista in downtown Houston). Dec My Room is funded by grants, charitable donations, and volunteer support. Dave and I have been so blessed and I have been looking for a charity that we can support both financially and through service. We mutually agreed this would be a great fit for our family.
I am excited about Dec My Room for many reasons.First, I have healthy children who fortunately have not had lengthy hospital stays and for that I would like to help others who are going through this nightmare. Second, I remember growing up what a big deal it was to change my room decorations. Every few years my mom would allow us to buy new bedding, pictures, paint color, etc. It was so much fun to be able to create your dream room. Next, I like that the $300 room budget allows for kids to have cool rooms and because the cost is not enormous, lots of kids get their rooms decked out. Although you have to be at least 18 to go into the hospital rooms and decorate, I love that I can get my children and nieces and nephews involved by having them help create signs, shop, and give suggestions for the rooms.
After attending both the Dec My Room Luncheon and training, both Christa and I are very inspired and excited to get started! We have decided to start decking out rooms (of course we will blog about the experience) and figure out creative ways to help fundraise for the organization.
Here are a few questions/answers about Dec My Room.
Question:How can I get involved?
Answer: There are many ways to get involved. You can donate financially (each room costs $300 to decorate), you can volunteer to dec out rooms (this involves filling out paperwork, a background check, a 90 minute training, shopping, and then decorating), you can tell people about the organization, and you can attend events that benefit Dec My Room. Cheers 4 Charities is hosting an event November 4, 2014, and Tootsies is hosting Love’s In Fashion February 11, 2015.
Question: What are standard items that are bought for rooms?
Answer: comforter, soft throw blanket, pillows, body pillows, decorative decals and posters that are not nailed, laundry baskets or tubs to store and take items home, toys and games, pjs, basketball hoop and ball, art supplies, journals with fun writing pens and stickers, magazines and books, dvds, i-pod shuffle, newly packaged stuffed animals, colorful rug, etc.
Question: WHO IS READY TO DEC A ROOM!!!!
Side note: as I was writing this blog my six year old said, “I just want to say mommy that the cute picture of the “Hello Kitty Room” looked like it was her normal room, and then I saw plugs and other hospital looking stuff”…that is the point. These kids deserve normalcy! “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”Elizabeth Gilbert