Designing Together: Partnering together to provide families with an exciting opportunity.
Habitat Omaha offers homeowners a great benefit with our education classes. In these courses, topics range from budgeting to the post-purchase care of one’s home. A new course started when Blue Wah, a family services program associate, approached Lisa Jackson, our education coordinator, with a problem homeowners were facing. Karin families have been asking Wah how to design their Habitat Omaha home in a Western style. They liked the interior designs they saw in magazines, but did not know how to replicate them in their homes. Jackson heard about this problem and had a thought.
She realized the ReStore would be a good resource for families, and an idea was born. Jackson emailed Lorettee Orsi, the Habitat ReStore West manager, about developing a partnership. Orsi thought it was a great opportunity to show homeowners the decorating and interior design options available at the ReStores. Jackson and Orsi were then able to plan an enriching class, known as Design on a Dime, for the homeowners. Attendees would receive a tour of ReStore West and be taught how to upcycle furniture.
On Sept. 17, their plans came to life, and five Habitat Omaha families were able to attend the Design on a Dime class. First, they received a tour from Orsi. The families were amazed at how much the West ReStore had to offer. Orsi said, “[Homeowners] were excited. [We] let them know that if something does happen, you should always start at the ReStore if you need to replace something. Because a lot of the time, we have almost everything you need to complete almost any project.”
After the tour, the class got to see a demonstration with Diane, a ReStore market vendor. She showed them how to restore a small wood table and reupholster a small wire vanity chair. Families asked lots of questions, and Diane was there to answer their questions. Families left inspired to replicate similar projects in their own homes.
After the class, partner families appreciated that Habitat Omaha provided such an informative class. Jackson enjoyed having this internal partnership with the ReStore, and says it is important because “Events like this help build deeper connections. We can retain partner families beyond homeownership,.”
Orsi has similar feelings about the benefit of this cross-collaboration, saying, “Teamwork creates a better organization. Every connection that you make is the possibility of increasing Habitat Omaha’s awareness and what we do all the time.” Orsi and Jackson look forward to working together to strengthen Habitat Omaha’s mission through experiences like the Design on a Dime Class in the future.