I attended the ART + IDS joint conference in Scottsdale, AZ, the week before last, and besides the fabulous resort and great company, I really enjoyed being a part of this year’s community service project.
On the Friday afternoon of conference, we all loaded onto buses and went over to the U.S.VETS Grand Veterans Village housing facility in Phoenix where we did our part to beautify the spaces of the homeless, low-income and disabled veterans who live there.
The 132-room repurposed motel welcomes more than 260 homeless veterans while serving more than 94,000 nutritional meals. And while U.S.VETS is able to provide basic needs such as towels and bedding, they did not have the funding to decorate veteran’s rooms. Enter ART + IDS, who together worked for months to collect donations of furniture, accessories, lighting, rugs and more from the manufacturers, reps and retailers in our industry.
Then, in a span of four hours, attendees unboxed thousands of products, assembled them, split into teams and hit more than 100 rooms hanging wall decor, plugging in lamps, laying down rugs and much more, all the while getting to know a bit more about each veteran they were helping.
Stories were exchanged, family pictures and mementos were hung up in the process, and some tears were definitely shed. The veterans were so grateful to receive the items we supplied, and I think many of them were amazed at all we did in such a short amount of time. Heck, we were amazed too!
Watch the video recap here to get a sense of the impact this project had on the community and on us as participants. I'm grateful to have been involved.