October 31, 2016
Christmas in October has come and gone, but the lives of the children that attend Sammy’s House and their families are forever changed. When the LDC Class first took a tour of Sammy’s House back in April, the need for help was quite apparent not only in the physical surroundings, but also in the faces of the children that attend the school. They deserve the best and the LDC Class and the Christmas in October Committee were determined to get them the best. Fundraising efforts helped propel our lofty goals for Sammy’s House to reality with over $200,000 raised. We cannot thank our donors enough for all their generosity. It is because of them that this event was able to come together and be so successful.
The week of the event, the LDC Class and the REAL YP group put in countless hours preparing everything for the day of. Doing as much furniture moving and demolition as possible to make the day of the event as efficient as possible given the amount of work that was to be completed. The morning of the event was a quite a scene. We truly didn’t know what kind of numbers for volunteers we would get, but the RECA family, as always, banded together and car loads of volunteers showed up bright and early to help. Once the horn went off to start work, volunteers went to work on the laundry list of tasks and it was a sight to see. The entire play area for Sammy’s House was regraded, and a new layer of sod was placed. The swing set and jungle gym areas were cleaned out and filled with new kiddie mulch to ensure the safety of the children that have specific disability needs. The exterior fencing was completely replaced, and a new crushed granite trail wide enough for large multi-child strollers was created around the entire yard area. New planting boxes were constructed on site, filled, and placed on site.
The interior was a madhouse of volunteers as well. Teams of volunteers were created and assigned to each classroom to lay down new flooring and move furniture. It was amazing to see how efficiently and seamlessly this occurred. All the downstairs bathrooms were painted as well as the entire second floor. New dimmable, LED lighting installed in the classrooms to help with children with specific disabilities, and new furniture was also provided for the office spaces.
The Real YP group within RECA also stepped up and took on a major project with the organizational system for Sammy’s House. The gym area houses Sammy’s House’s teaching and play items that are only used seasonally or at specific items so when they are not being used, they are stored in the gym. The Real YP group started work on this project weeks in advance demolishing the old system and building a completely new system which has expanded their storage space and stream lined their system. It’s great to see the young professionals of RECA stepping up and tackling a large challenge.
To say this Christmas in October was a success would be an understatement. The leadership and perseverance of this year’s LDC Class was truly amazing and I am extremely thankful that I was part of it. This team of people helped bring everything together with the generosity of our donors and volunteers. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR SUPPORTING AND HELPING CHRISTMAS IN OCTOBER!