Sometimes, January in Chicago can feel never-ending. The forecast for Wednesday is a high of -13 degrees...Yes, that is the high!  My personal goal is to make it to April with as positive of an attitude as possible (and with the lowest possible heating bill, within reason at the woodshop). It’s in these months of January and February that I expect to be tested in unexpected ways.  I am typically in full hibernation mode with the exception of my cold treks to the woodshop daily and running my 5 year old daughter to and from school. After all these years of living here, I am very aware that while there isn’t a whole lot of sunshine in Chicago during these early months of the year, I do have the choice to stay positive and find warmth and motivation in other ways.

I decided that doing uplifting things for others in the form of reclaimed wood furniture donations and deliveries could help brighten my own outlook for 2019. The good news is that wood can bring warmth in many ways to a space. I’m not talking about firewood, although a cozy fire, sounds about perfect right now. I decided to put some focus on how we could help some local organizations doing great things in their communities to seek inspiration for the new year.  Fortunately, I didn't have to look far. We receive a fair amount of inquiries each month from great organizations and nonprofits looking for wood furniture donations.

This past fall, Tonya, the founder of “The Neighborhood Transformation Project” located just south of Chicago,  reached out to me inquiring about supporting her passion project in her hometown of Phoenix Illinois. It wasn’t until the end of December while thinking about ideas for the new year that I reached back out to her. I believe that sometimes stepping outside the office and shop to experience others’ “work”, especially when its as noble as Tonya’s, can be both motivating and refreshing.

I found Tonya to be a ray of sunshine. She is so inspiring and our visit was the perfect distraction from the frigid sub-zero temps of a Chicago winter. She grew up here and decided to move back after years of living in North Carolina, to make a difference to the neighborhoods and people, back in her hometown. We delivered a custom wood desk and several other pieces of reclaimed wood furniture for the living room. We hope the pieces will warm up the space for the new homeowners, as much as it warmed our hearts bringing it to a great organization. Check out the video we made of our delivery!