Designing With the D.I.V.A.S!
Please Answer the Following Questions to Yourself:
Are you able to laugh and have fun? Are you willing to help others who are in desperate need? Do you enjoy seeing your efforts make a difference in a big way? Do you know how to roll up your sleeves and get down to the job at hand? Do you care about your community becoming a better place in which to live?
If you answered, “Yes!” to one or more of the questions above – you’re the perfect candidate for our team – WELCOME TO THE DIVAS!!
Please fill out and submit the form at the bottom of this page; we’ll contact you soon to get you started in this fun and rewarding experience.
We’ll clear out the clutter, then rearrange your existing furnishings for a one-day one-room “interior re-design”. We can also offer guidance on choices for new paint colors, fabrics, accent pieces, etc. It’s a great way to take advantage of professional perspectives and custom-tailored creativity, while at the same time helping provide a mattress for a child in need.
Cost: starting at $300
Payback Period: Every Day, Ever After!
(Remember: Your mini-make-over will help provide a bed for a child to sleep on, a table and chairs for a family to share a meal, a desk and lamp for a student to complete her homework, …)
History of the D.I.V.A.S!
“Philanthropy with Style”
In 2003, Houstonian Ann Cummins completed a leadership program which issued a challenge to all its graduates: Go out into your community and do something to improve the lives of other people. “I took the assignment seriously,” Ann says, “and I knew just the group I wanted to help.” As a volunteer board member at a local housing project for battered women, she longed to do more for the residents at the threadbare center.
♥ Ann Cummins, Visionary & Founder of D.I.V.A.S.
Ann recruited some friends who shared her enthusiasm for turning trash into treasure. They had two months to form teams, raise money, and make plans for a one-weekend decorating marathon. With extraordinary ingenuity and lively team spirit, the volunteers set out to create award-worthy make-overs. When the weekend for the actual makeovers arrived, Ann and her friends came early with husbands, boyfriends, relatives, & neighbors to turn their visions into reality. Some of the volunteers brought their own children to help with the project. “At first, we were just doing it to earn volunteer service hours for school,” two brothers admitted, “but as it went on, we realized just how lucky we are.”
♥ Janet Ely, D.I.V.A.S. Co-Founder, and Houston Furniture Bank Board Member
The real winners, though, were the women at the shelter. Some smiled with shy pleasure when they saw their new living rooms, too overcome to speak. Others threw their hands over their mouths and welled up in tears. “I get to live here?” they asked. “You did this for me?” But ask the volunteers who got the most from this work, and they’ll tell you it’s a toss-up. The generous gift of their time, talent, and effort benefited them as much as the families they helped. “It’s just a good feeling,” one of the co-founders Janet Ely says simply. “You know you’ve really made a difference in someone’s life.”
Ann Cummins and her Divas eventually branched out, joining forces with Houston Furniture Bank to provide free decorating services to families referred by non-profit assistance agencies throughout the city. She is quick to deflect any credit for the far-reaching impact of her original idea, however: “We all have to have a nice space to create good things in our lives,” she says. “What we’re doing is more than a band-aid – it really matters! Food and shelter are essential, but a home is a source of comfort and self-esteem. We give our time and our friendship; it’s one human being helping another.”
♥ The D.I.V.A.S. Team, 2010
Today, our ranks have grown to include licensed professionals such as interior designers and architects as well as artists, crafters, and talented laypersons. No matter their background, regardless of their skill sets, all of them are committed to helping our families and individuals in need make a successful transition to independent living.
[excerpted from an article by Mary Pat O’Malley]