"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
Springfield is the place where one can make things happen. Literally. I am absolutely proud to call Springfield my home away from home and am honored to meet and know SO many loving and generous people.
I giggle, because this Make it Happen Preservation Project at Oscar's was incredible: Oscar's house looks better than all of my Springfield houses put together! LOL. Many of us joked after that we would love to have a "make it happen" at our own homes. New and homes require constant attention, love, and upkeep; homes are truly lifetime projects.
This 3rd preservation project went off without a hitch and that is solely due to the donations and volunteerism of friends and neighbors in and around Historic Springfield. 100% of this project is donations and volunteerism. We amassed approximately 75 people through-out the day at Oscar's house. WOW. A few times during the day I stepped back in the street, looked at all the hustle and bustle and grinned. Pretty stinkin' cool if you ask me.
It is hard for me to do a call out to individuals because like most of us, I don't want to leave out anyone. But there are a few folks who need to be recognized (in no specific order:)
John and Monica Ford: For their cash donation for materials and supplies, for their love and nomination of their neighbor Oscar, for their hospitality in opening up their yard for us to enjoy. John and Monica are good people and I am glad to know them.
Joe Markusic and Gloria Devall: We started prep work on the Wednesday before. 7 a.m. to approx 4 p.m. for 3 total days. I was provided with 4-6 hard working, polite, talented men in recovery to scrape, sand, repair, prime, and build new porch rails. They were beyond great and truly allowed a quality job to be done on Saturday by volunteers. Our projects could not be completed without their support.
Phil Collins: Master welder, creative artist extroidinaire, while only a "hobbie" he forged the most incredible number sign I've ever seen. I asked (he says I ordered him LOL,) him a few months ago if he could create a number sign for Oscar. He agreed. The finishing touches make a huge difference. Man I love Oscar's number sign!
John Fabiano: He has graciously taken on the lead of landscape artistry. His design is always jaw dropping, creative, purposeful, and as I like to say "magazine worthy." I've personally taken a lot of inspiration from John and his design. He loves the neglected corners and lots of Springfield and I so admire that.
Tony Sullivan and Brad May: For the second time, catered lunch. Food is the great equalizer and these guys got it going on. The mac and cheese is to die for. They always think the are "getting out of work" by cooking for everyone, but truly the job of keeping volunteers fed is one of the most important, if not THE most important job.
Josh Kennedy of First Coast Home Pros: Supplied multiple ladders and made in advance the gorgeous wood stained screens for Oscar's front windows. This finishing touch really showed how much love went into Oscar's house. He also provided a cash donatnion and committed to placing the donated pendant lamp on Oscar's porch that we were unable to do yesterday.
Lane Manis: Who made it clear to First Coast News they WOULD send a reporter out NOW to do a piece on this project. And of course they did. Positive press for Springfield is a good thing, and Oscar was beside himself that he was on the news. Additionally, Lane and Steve allowed me to "shop" in their wood pile where I found enough wood to cut spindles and make porch floor repairs.
Lamar Campbell: Provided the primer and blue house paint. He shopped and delivered, gotta love that. Paint and landscape are the big ticket items. It is a stress reliever to know that they are covered.
Anonymous donor: All of the plants I had on my original list were donated in full by a Springfield resident. And even better: delivered. The crepe myrtles are gorgeous!
Hailing Zhong: Preservation SOS/Make it Happen T-shirts. We still have some and I would be happy to deliver local and pick up your $10/shirt. Then you will be all set for our next Make it Happen project!
John Noone: Bought several shirts and passed them along to Robert who runs the hotdog cart at 8th/Ionia Street. Robert, his daughter, and brother came along and spent the morning painting!!!!! It is so important to support our local folks. $3.50 for a dog, chips, and a drink????? Do stop by sometime and eat good and cheap!
Crissie Cudd: Crispy creates the most fantastic videos of our project. I have used them time and time again to show people what SOS and Make it Happen is all about. She helps sell Make it Happen.
John Wells of Low Country Classics: Delivered through-out the week 1,000 bricks for the project. 1,000!!!!! The bricks used in the landscaping tie in Oscar's unique brick wall and were so needed. John really took to heart my "bricks, bricks, bricks!!!"
Amanda Searle and Ray Beeson from Sustainable Springfield: The took us in and made our life easy. Donations folks made are tax deductible because of them. Plus shoppping with the SS debit card made life super easy for me! LOL. They are very good to us and I am appreciative.
Julie Ann Dostal: For being my last minute Lowe's shopper and providing fence plants and porch paint. She has always saved me in the last hours.
Joan, Debbie, Cathy, Joe, Gloria, Alex, Karla, Johannes for helping to keep SOS alive and in full force for preservation.
Janet Dahsield, Debbie Thompson, Karla and Alex Stremitzer, Renee Parenteau-Bradford, Doug and Doris Vanderlaan, and someone I can not remember (dang it!) provided cash donations which allowed me purchase wood for all the rails on the porch, all the paint supplies, trim and accent paint, roof paint, hanging baskets etc. I will also purchase a screen door for Oscar this week and install.
I saw plants come in the hands of volunteers, sand for the bricks, soil for the pots, POTS!, stepping stones, mortar, the pendant lamp, cupcakes!, water and chests of ice (thank you!) Bales of straw, my goodness! The list goes on and on.
The volunteers made it happen! LABOR! FREE! Springfield, as everyone will attest to here,) is a great place to live. Without everyone who helped that day, under no circumstances would Oscar's house look as it does today. Whether you were there for an hour or a few more than that,or there all day, EVERY hand, EVERY effort Made it Happen. Thank you!!
At the end of the day, Oscar had some of his family come over to show them his house. John Ford said that this is probably the first time in 30 years that Oscar, well, could feel the way he does about the love he recieved and how gorgeous his home looks now. He was proud to show his family the end result. My husband follows from 3,000 miles away the project, and he says we need a TV show. LOL. He has always been impressed at what folks here do to help others. I say if a TV show can get us some money to preserve our houses and help our neighbors, I'm game. A gal can dream, right?
Everyone, thank you.
Please, chime in if I missed someone. Certainly not my intent. Love to all who Made it Happen.