Did you donate to Rainbow Village this past year? Maybe you dropped off some new pillows, a coffee pot, or some paper towels. Thank you for that donation. You see, your donations make it possible for me to have 8-10 AWESOME days at work each year. Now don’t get me wrong—all days at Rainbow Village, even the hard ones, are good days. Each day at Rainbow Village is a day of change, a day closer to self-sufficiency, a day closer to healing. But, those AWESOME days—they are my favorite. These are the days that we are lucky enough to be able to welcome a family home.
Rainbow Village had one of those days last week when we welcomed a family home just in time for Christmas, a mother and daughter that had been living in a shelter for 5 months. The day leading up to move-in day is full of work. The maintenance crew is painting and cleaning the apartment. Interns are at our storage facility selecting items that will make this house feel like a home. My coworkers are always willing to help me cart the donations to the apartment and place them inside, even when it’s on the third floor. They then head back to their offices teasing me. “Okay, Ms. Decorator,” Sondra and Lynnette say as they leave me to do my favorite part—arrange all of the donations throughout the apartment. Truth be told, I’m not very good at decorating at all, but I want it to look perfect for that moment. The moment that I am lucky enough to have with each resident on move-in day, the “Extreme Home Makeover” moment as I like to call it. I don’t get to yell, “Move that bus!” But, I do get to let someone try their new key for the first time, and I do get to say, “Welcome Home.” What follows is different for each family. Sometimes, the moment is filled with jumping up and down and hugs. Other times, it is filled with quiet reflection, sighs of relief, and tears. Regardless of the reaction, it is always a perfect moment—a moment that would not be possible without your generosity.
By Lily Morehouse, Director of Clinical Services
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