Helping Kids Help Kids

paintersEmily Dana wanted something a little special for her Bat Mitzvah this year – she wanted her and her friends to help someone who needed it. So she talked to her parents, David Dana and Julie Schrager, about a service project that would be both beneficial for the community and fun for the two dozen 12- and 13-year-olds who would be her guests.

Both David and Julie had affiliations with both the YMCA and the YWCA, and through that relationship came across Y.O.U. (Youth Organization Umbrella), an Evanston-based nonprofit that provides academic enrichment, social development, and emotional support for children in need. The group’s facility, essentially an old house, was looking somewhat worn and both David and Emily felt a painting party would be the perfect cap to Emily’s Bat Mitzvah.

painters2David approached Get Dwell’s Darryl Rose about donating services that would lay the groundwork for the painting – patching, sanding and prepainting – and Rose gladly volunteered the services of the company’s Project Managers. Get Dwell also commissioned a color analyst who chose a light yellow color to replace the faded lime green that had covered the walls for years.

Following Emily’s Bat Mitzvah, all the guests walked to Y.O.U., picked up rollers, and went to work. Get Dwell was there to help out and demonstrate painting skills. Because the walls were primed and ready for paint, the kids were able to see the immediate and dramatic impact of their efforts.

The result was a more open and cheerier space for Y.O.U. and the children who depend on them, and a great lesson in the pleasures of giving back for Emily’s guests.

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