Tag Archives: Terry Grahl
For Part 1 of my interview with Terry Grahl – see Enchanted Makeovers – Giving the Homeless a Haven for Change.
Terry Grahl, an interior designer has been asked to make over a homeless shelter. Here is part 2 of her story:
Six months later, the makeover was complete and it was amazing. Even more amazing to me was that I had found my true calling. I wanted to use all of my talents and skills to provide refuge, solace, and hope to people, women and children in the shelters, myself, and volunteers alike.
As I continued accepting work from private clients, I felt something was missing. I had taken on additional shelter projects in 2007, but continued to hold onto the security of my paying clients. In December, 2008, I decided to close my decorating business, Terry’s Enchanted Cottage.
I knew without a doubt that God had much bigger plans for my life, and He needed to use me for His glory. We made a deal with each other on that day. I asked that He would continue to provide the needs for my family (food and a roof over our heads) and His request was, “Glorify Me”.
In August 2009, Terry’s Enchanted Cottage, established back in 2005, ultimately became Enchanted Makeovers, a non-profit 501 (C) 3 organization.
TM: Tell me about any current or upcoming projects.
TG: For the past six years, I have had a cleaning job in the evening in order to devote my day to this mission. I have never received a salary and use my 800 sq. foot home I share with my husband and 4 children to store donations and supplies. However, this important work can no longer be sustained under the current structure and operating model. As the requests and demand continue to increase, I am no longer able to address all that needs to be done. In addition, I have had to turn-away donations due to lack of storage space.
TG: We hope that people will first stop and think about what “EM’s Believe” before they move forward in working on any project with their local shelter.
- ”Words” segregate and label human beings (those women, the needy, the poor people, the homeless etc.) None of us have been without burden or struggle. The EM family helps each other face life’s issues together as ONE. We believe that none of us are “super-heroes”. In fact, our company philosophy is She Is Me.
- The makeovers are just as important as the shelters programs. No woman or child who is now on a new journey to restore their lives should have to sleep in a room that reflects their feelings of despair and unworthiness.
- All of us have ”Love Tanks” and they need to be filled.
- I’m not using the word volunteer but ”investor”. When you invest in another human beings life you’re investing in yourself.
- Everyone has value and needs to be heard.
- Life’s greatest value can sometimes be found hidden in its broken pieces.
- In the power of mother’s love, simplicity and building a home from within.
- Handmade items are very important to the healing process. It carries with it the love and positive energy of the creator. An ”investors” story is woven into each handmade item that is donated.
- Everyone is worthy of surroundings that will nurture their soul and allow their greatness to emerge.
- Without attention to the spirit, there can be no true healing.
TG: Monetary donations, small and large, are the sustaining heart of the makeovers. Donations are tax deductible with the IRS.
- Investing time and/or services on a special event, pre-Makeover Days and on the Makeover Day. Bulletins are posted on this website as to the needs/services when they arise.
- Are you a Crafter or Artist? Contact EM to see how you may be of help. We love and prefer items made by loving, human hands for the special touches for our events or makeovers.
- We are always in need of sewing groups or individuals to make pillowcases, twin size quilts (cottage style), quilts for kids, dolls, aprons and capes for kids.
- We are always in need of new white bath towels, new white wash cloths, set of new white twin sheets, new twin mattress pads, new standard pillow protectors, new or custom journals, new or gently used books, new white crib sheets, sewing supplies and new converse tennis shoes.
- Watch Enchanted Makeovers’ video…..We hope it will inspire you to work with us.
- Spread the word about Enchanted Makeovers! Refer people to our website www.enchantedmakeovers.org for more information.
- Always keep the women and children who are re-building their lives in your prayers.
Another person I met while doing research for my upcoming book on bullying was Terry Grahl. Terry is the founder and CEO of Enchanted Makeovers. The mission of Enchanted Makeovers is to transform shelters for women and children into an environment that inspires psychological and behavioral change. A haven is created where women and children rebuilding their lives are reminded everyday they hold the ”golden ticket” to transforming their dreams into reality. Our unique makeovers, projects and programs supplement the shelter’s efforts, building a stronger foundation for success and improved outcomes.
I am honored that Terry has agreed to be interviewed for my blog.
TM: How did Enchanted Makeovers come to be?
TG: A polka-dotted pillow changed my life and my journey. When I tell people this, most will say, “what?” and then envision a pretty, feminine, polka-dotted pillow, trimmed with a big flowing ruffle. Well, that is exactly what my heart saw when I viewed the old, worn, tattered bed (photo below), but clearly not what my eyes saw. That vision was the beginning of my personal transformation.
Opportunities present themselves all of the time. We just have to be awakened enough to see them. I feel blessed that God opened my eyes with the vision of the polka-dot pillow. You see, in December 2006, I received a call from a gentleman asking for help. I was an interior decorator, and he was the black tie event coordinator of a local shelter.He said, “we would be so grateful even if you just painted one wall.” Honestly, at the time, my first reaction was fear. I was fearful of going. I really didn’t know what to expect. I had never been to a shelter.
I decided to make the visit and, as with all of the consultations I conducted with my private clients in my decorating business, I took photos to assist with any necessary planning and visualization. That is, if I would actually accept the volunteer job. I still wasn’t sure, and was leaning towards a “probably not”.
A week had passed since my first visit to the shelter. I hadn’t given it much thought. All I know is that I had this lingering feeling of despair knowing the living conditions of the women and children. I began to reflect upon my own expectations for my life and the dreams of a child. I was a big dreamer; my mother instilled this upon me and my siblings.
Had I forgotten my own dreams?
My mother taught me that decorating didn’t need to be motivated by money and that by relying on your own creativity and vision – each home improvement was a selfless act of love. For my mother, making a home where her five children felt safe and where our spirits could soar was as important as keeping us fed and clothed.
There amongst the harshness was something dear to my heart: a polka dot, a safe pattern that has no sharp edges. There on that seemingly ordinary pillow was an answer. It was an answer from within me but not directly from me.When I saw the polka dots in that picture, I heard, “Trust me.” From that moment, I knew I was prepared to do whatever I could to bring hope to those women and children.Soon, I was back at the shelter presenting them with a design plan and a vision of what was to come. There was no turning back. I vowed to see this project to completion.
With no funds and no volunteers lining up at the door, I had only to put my trust in God, keep the faith and, most importantly, I needed to step away from my ego. These women and children must not be disappointed again.
As I presented the plan to the group of women and staff, I was overcome with emotion. I again was that vulnerable child wanting their acceptance. I realized the thin wall that separated our lives. We all deserved and desired the same things. It was simple, but seemingly so complicated in its simplicity. I would find a way to break through this thin wall.
Transforming the shelter took more than just my decorating skills. It required me to pull out strengths I didn’t know I had- finding, organizing, and leading enthusiastic volunteers and donors nationwide to help me carry out my vision.
You can read part 2 of my interview with Terry Grahl here.