Friday, June 15, 2012


(I XOXO meaningful work and recently got involved in a project with Designing Spaces, Kids in Distress, generous donors, countless volunteers making a difference, and a couple of very cute kids.)

This evening is the big Reveal Party at Kids in Distress (KID)...which I will be missing since I am out in Seattle. But there will be plenty of people on hand to celebrate the "Labor of Love" project -- this year's "Spaces of Hope" collaboration between Designing Spaces, KID, and generous donors.  At tonight's Reveal Party design improvements to the KIDS lounge and play center will be unveiled. It's a before-and-after celebration starring the Designing Spaces Dream Team, KIDS employees, community volunteers and sponsors who made the transformation possible either via funding or muscle. On August 2nd and 9th, Designing Spaces will air the "Spaces of Hope: Labor of Love" show.

Entering the KIDS campus

While the reveal party unfortunately coincided with a pre-planned vacation, I was able to get my butt down to the KIDS Wilton Manors Ft. Lauderdale headquarters last week to see, at the very least, the beginning stages of "Labor of Love." My first visit happened to coincide with Florida Panther Ed Jovanovski's visit.  Ed came down to lend some star power to the project. He painted, hung out with some of the kids, gave out t-shirts and signed autographs. Need I tell you, because you can see for yourselves, that Ed is totally adorable. That's all...excitment over, now down to work!

Ed in the middle with Mark Dhooge, KIDS Pres/CEO, far right
I had to shoot the jersey so I'd be sure to spell his name correctly!
Being in the midst of painting, cleaning, unpacking -- basic renovation chaos -- felt familiar. During  my tenure at Country Living Magazine, I was involved in many house projects whereby we would decorate from A-Z, beginning with the paint and ending with the perfect teeny weeny props. The Designing Spaces "Labor of Love" project would include fresh paint and vinyl "wood" flooring throughout, decorative changes in the main play room, plus the creation of a library and teen area.

Just some tools of the trade.
Ross and his son Joel measure out cork for the back wall.
one side of the large common area
Library to be, compliments of Reading is Fundamental
Teen Room painter volunteers are from Blue Interactive,

In addition to checking out the project, KIDS Marketing Manager Brittany Soule took me on a campus tour. The 5 acre campus  is a gated community consisting of about 15 buildings including a pre-school, shelter, state-of-the-art dental clinic, and eye care clinic. Many of the buildings feature beautiful painted wall murals. There are also lots of nice playground areas. I was particularly intrigued by the highly organized warehouse where donations are received, inventoried, and stored.

The warehouse (top)  and dental clinic.

When I left Kids in Distress last Friday, The Designing Spaces Dream team was installing the flooring with many more upgrades and installs to come. I am excited to see the end result, filled with books, games, electronics, furniture, artwork and most of all kids! When I am back from my trip, I will definitely head down to see. Of course, I probably shouldn't blog about it till it airs later this summer. Stay tuned.

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