CORNWALL, Ontario - When a local painter decided that she wanted to “give back” in some way, she was surprised and thrilled to find that her idea had snowballed into a true community effort.
The project began simply enough, with the offer to paint a deserving child’s bedroom, to help brighten up their life, said Megan Thomlison, case worker at Big Brothers and Big Sisters, who provided the name of a child who would be a good candidate for a bedroom make-over.
“I just thought it would be fun, said Karen Boots, decorative painter, who enlisted her friend, Lianne Macdonald, to help out with it. “We love doing kids rooms so much we decided to donate a day.”
It wasn’t long before the community stepped up with donations of paint, furniture and accessories, which turned a simple paint job into a designer room that you would see on any HGTV decorating show.
"We chose Monica, whose two siblings are very involved with BBBS programs and have had a lot of opportunities," said Thomlison. “We wanted to make Monica feel special too; she’s very deserving and from a very deserving family.”
Needless to say, young Monica is happy about her room, she says and spends a lot of time there, now, and is looking forward to unveiling it to her friends.
“The only thing we want in return is a little smile,” said Boots. “Then, we’ve accomplished what we set out to do.”
As an added bonus Boots was thrilled, she said, about the outpouring of support from the community.
“Anybody we went to was more than happy to help out, and have offered to help with future projects.”
Many thanks to all of the community donors who made this project possible: CIL, paint; Home Depot, gift card; the Rendezvous Bar, $100 cash donation; First Choice Roofing, curtain and rod; Glenda Seguin, bed; Marimac, comforter; Ridgewood, desk; Habitat for Humanity, dresser.
This is just the beginning, said Boots, who is planning a boy’s room for next month.