At Project Redesign, we reuse donated furniture to redesign participant's houses so they can reclaim their lives and make a fresh start in a new home.
History of Project Redesign
The idea for Project Redesign sprang from a volunteer job some of our members participated in following Hurricane Katrina. Given the opportunity to furnish a Nashville apartment for a New Orleans family who lost everything, we solicited our friends, families and community for furniture and household items. We were astounded by what we were able to collect, and the result was a beautiful home for a family who had experienced the unthinkable.
In the few years that followed, as our children went off to college, four friends explored how we could repeat this experience for Nashvillians. No crisis, just everyday need. In 2008 , we approached the Martha O'Bryan Community Center in East Nashville, and under their umbrella, we did redesigns for the families in the James Cayce Homes (Nashville's largest and most at-risk housing development). We started out storing our collected furnishings in our personal garages, and had volunteers helping us move the furniture in Tahoes and pick-up trucks. We collected furniture, art, lamps, accessories, bedding and rugs. It wasn't easy but we were hooked, and eventually rented three garage-size storage units off Charlotte Avenue in Nashville and hired movers.
It soon became apparent that other non-profit organizations needed our services. In 2011, we obtained our 501c3 status and became a non-profit organization in our own right. We began working with the Salvation Army, YWCA, Domestic Violence Center, Magdalene House (Thistle Farms), Mending Hearts, Safe Haven and many others. We furnished homes for individuals or families who were coming out of homelessness or treatment, trying to get back on their feet. We also took on large communal spaces in non-profit centers and schools, and have donated everything from room air conditioners to mattresses to those in need.
Our funding, besides the in-kind donations we collect, comes largely from private donations of cash. We have held a fundraiser every November for several years and that has provided for the bulk of our yearly operating expenses. We employ an accountant and have two attorneys who have done pro bono work when needed. We are trademarked.
Project Redesign takes great pride in the rooms we deliver. Just furnishing a room has never been enough, we don't leave until we feel it is as perfect as it can possibly be, that someone's life will be transformed because they have a beautiful place to come home to. We are always grateful for the opportunity to help.