Enchanted Makeovers Pt. 2 – How Can We Help?

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:

photo of a bed with fancy pillows and curtains over the headboardSix 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.

photo of Terry GrahlMy vision for the future is to be able to replicate this model so the many shelters for women and children across America can all experience the same positive outcomes.  In order to do that, an organizational infra-structure needs to be developed.  Relying strictly on volunteers, donations and inconsistent/sporadic financial support from individuals does not allow Enchanted Makeovers to be as effective as possible.  I now need to take Enchanted Makeovers to the next level!
First, I am working to secure a national headquarters where central operations would be conducted.  Support staff would be hired and the space would also be used as a clearing house for donations.  Training programs would be developed so that the model can be replicated throughout the country.  I also dream of creating a special line of commercial “cottage-style” furniture and fire-retardant fabric that would be used for the shelter makeovers.  This would replace the sterile commercial furniture, donated prison beds and used nursing home bedspreads.  America would be able to support the mission by purchasing from the Enchanted Makeovers’ line!
I already have my sights on a building that is perfect for these plans.  I know it’s perfect and meant-to-be because I found the key to the front door on a sidewalk while taking a walk.  It turns out the house was for sale/lease and is still available today.  We believe this will be “The House That Love Built” where people will come to not only make a difference but transform their own lives.
We are also in the process of selecting the shelter we will be working with for the next makeover.  In the meantime, our programs like “Capes for Kids” and the “Pillow Case” program are always on-going.
TM: What are some things people can do in their own communities to help the homeless?

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.
  • Enchanted Makeovers Presents She Is Me, I see myself in her and she sees herself in 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.
TM: How can people help your organization?

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.
  •  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.


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