Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate agents often make families’ dreams come true during home purchases. So it means even more when they can help families overcoming poverty transform their apartments into homes of their own.
Park Cities agents recently had the opportunity to help such families by volunteering for an evening of do-it-yourself furniture refurbishment at Dwell with Dignity. The Dallas-based nonprofit helps families in need by partnering with social service agencies to design and furnish a complete home interior — from furniture to a fully stocked pantry.
Leonore Owsley, Carla Hea, Becky Nelson, Maureen McPherson and Tana Parsons spent the night sanding donated furniture, upholstering headboards and creating art pieces to hang in an apartment of the 120th family Dwell with Dignity is helping.
“When we refinish furniture, we do it right, because these people maybe have never had real furniture,” Dwell with Dignity Program and Volunteer Manager Laura Cismesia said that evening. “We want to do it right, so the furniture lasts for them, and they learn how to respect their stuff because they respect themselves.”
Donations to the nonprofit are a mix of corporate and community contributions. Some are new and some need to be refurbished, but pieces are picked for each home with the families’ needs at the top of mind.
“I was impressed with the quality of furnishings, paintings and accessories,” said Hea, who was painting over a donated piece of art to better suit the children’s bedroom. “The recipients must really feel loved by Dwell with Dignity. They cater to the wants and needs of each family.”
Families who are helped by Dwell with Dignity are already self-sufficient, but they need an extra push to continue on the right track. Dwell with Dignity’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty by providing homes that families can be proud of.
“Some of these kids have never had friends over, because they’re embarrassed. They have nowhere to sit. Now, not only do they have somewhere to sit, but they have a room of their own, their own space,” Cismesia said. “For the first time, they’re excited to have friends over. And when they do better socially, they do better academically. They have more self-confidence. They excel.”
Cismesia said families who were drifting from apartment to apartment are now more stable. Some have saved enough to afford a house. Once they leave their rental dwellings, they can keep their furniture from Dwell with Dignity, said Parsons, who was upholstering a headboard.
“It’s such a great gift that makes it possible for people who really need help to have a beautiful home,” Parsons said.
Owsley, who gathered the group for the DIY evening, said the organization is a natural fit for real estate agents. After discovering Dwell with Dignity during North Texas Giving Day, she now offers to donate in her clients’ names as a closing gift.
“It’s much better to think someone else is getting something for their new home,” Owsley said. “When you’re in poverty, it takes a long time to have extra money to hang curtains and everything else we take for granted in our homes. I value that your home is your refuge. These people are now able to sustain the gift that’s been given them.”
To donate to Dwell with Dignity, visit their website.
Learn more about our incredible Park Cities agents and their listings at daveperrymiller.com.