Alma Project

Alma Project: Work Clothes Closet

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to share another project I’m working on in my local community. Long time readers know over the years we’ve donated our time and raised money for our local charity of choice, the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) and we’re at it again this fall. Years ago we dubbed our efforts the “Alma Project” after the first house we adopted and the name stuck.

COTS has helped thousands get back under a roof of their own and provides almost 350 beds every night. The kitchen serves over 124,000 meals a year and delivers over 750,000 pounds of food annually, and the award-winning program has helped thousands to rebuild their lives.

The latest project is one for a community Work Clothes Closet/Store to help complete the Work Ready training program. Once the clients in the program are trained in a trade, skill, or service, the new COTS Work Clothes Closet will provide them with clothing to reenter the workforce.

The project received some local press a few weeks ago…

local paper feature

It’s hard to read so here are the important points…

Training and attire are the biggest self confidence boosters for people reentering the workforce but purchasing clothing is beyond the income level of COTS clients. The Work Clothes Closet is the latest space transformation I’m working on with a team, it will provide not just professional attire for men and women, but trade clothing too (chefs, construction, etc.).

A local commercial property owner generously donated downtown space to serve as the Work Clothes Closet and house the attire for the program. No money will change hands, this store is run on donations, and by the COTS volunteers, and the good will of the people !

Here’s a peek at one corner of the space when we started a few weeks ago, it’s 2,200 square feet so there is much to do including building two dressing rooms, painting the ceiling, walls, and floors, and constructing garment racks, shelves, and display cases.

cots work closet 1

A local volunteer contractor has already prepped the sheet rocked walls with topping compound so we’re ready for the next step which is primer and paint on the walls (pale gray) and a porch and floor paint for the cement floors (navy blue).

We’re going with an industrial style for the space, working with the exposed pipes and incorporating garment racks and rustic shelves in that style, like these.

garment racks shelves

 

Thus far, Lowe’s has donated building supplies for garment racks and shelves. Thank you Lowes !  lowes building supplies Glidden is donating paint for the walls, ceilings, and cement floors. Thank you Glidden!

glidden donated paint

World Market is donating gift cards to purchase light fixtures, scarves, and jewelry, we’re excited to pull this space together!

cp world market donations

If you’re a brand or store, large or small, that would like to contribute email me at centsationalgirl[at]gmail.com. This Work Clothes Closet project is an unfunded  COTS project that relies on donations and volunteers so if you’d like to help out we’d appreciate it!

What we need is LABOR, so if you’re local, you can come on by this Saturday between 11 and 4 to help paint that would be wonderful but note you need to fill out a quick application first (screening required) and email me to let me know you’re coming at centsationalgirl[at]gmail.com so I can share the downtown Petaluma address.

If you’re handy with power tools, we will be building garment racks and shelving these two weekends: Nov 15th and Dec 6th so we could use help with those projects too.

We have no need for clothing right now, we have garment donations, and we’re relying on some local vendors for trade clothing and boots. We do need to raise money to build the partitions to create two dressing rooms so if you’re inclined, donate an amount to the Alma Project via the PayPal button below, or you can or send a check via snailmail to my PO Box made out to “The Alma Project”.

We’re planning on a December Open House so I’ll take pictures of all the projects and share the big reveal then ! ..

…. 

Thrifting for the Cause

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Hello everyone, I hope you’re relaxing on this three day weekend here in the States. We spent some time on Saturday in San Francisco at a friend’s wedding and enjoyed an evening stroll, it was unusually warm and we walked through a neighborhood filled with homes with classic architecture, it reminded me I really need to photograph some of those beauties in the various neighborhoods soon.

Last week I did some serious treasure hunting at thrift stores for a great cause. We’re so excited to be jumping back into our philanthropic efforts with the Alma Project. Last week I met with the Director of Housing for our local Committee on the Shelterless and the request was a big one: furnish and decorate an entire house including a family room, dining room, and 4 bedrooms by early summer. [For those unfamiliar with our Alma Project efforts, you can read all about our remodeling projects here.] For me, there’s nothing better than decorating with style on a budget for our favorite charity so I wholeheartedly welcomed the challenge! 

This home’s purpose will serve single adults transitioning from the homeless shelter so the need is for double and twin beds for each bedroom. The Angel of Amazing Thrift Store Prices was hovering over my shoulder as I hit up my favorite local stops and scored some really great finds. (For locals, the Sacks on Liberty Street in Petaluma has some great scores from time to time.)

price tag

I explained the cause to the manager of another one of my favorite thrift stores, the St. Vincent de Paul in Rohnert Park, CA and he gave me a bigger discount on a furniture sale so I saved a ton by being in the right place at the right time. 

I bought two blonde wood full/double headboards, one for $10 and another for $13 – the one in the rear is a basic wood headboard that I will either upholster or add molding to similar to the ones below.

jenny lind style headboard

 headboard makeover options

tobi fairley / ana white

 

The second full headboard is a Jenny Lind spool style with spindles that will look fab painted a bright color or perhaps something more neutral or even just white. 

aqua painted jenny lind

land of nod

  

I could not pass up this four poster bed, I think some Restore-A-Finish will bring it back to life. After the discount this was $40, which is such a deal given that similar pineapple finial poster beds sell for hundreds of dollars at auction or in antique stores.

pineapple finial antique poster bed

   

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