The homes of several Austin families underwent amazing transformations last Friday with the completion of the Seventh Annual LifeWorks Home Improvement Challenge(HIC.) Volunteers worked vigorously throughout the day to repaint, refurnish, and revitalize the homes of seven families in the LifeWorks Supportive Housing Program. Local corporate sponsors and interior designers combined their talents and resources to help teams of volunteers usher in a new chapter in the clients’ lives.
The LifeWorks crew arrived extra early at the Sierra Vista apartments on South Congress to setup the HIC hub. Everyone was treated to a delicious taquito breakfast provided by Whataburger before beginning the eight hour undertaking. Each team started working on their units right away as everyone was aware of just how much had to be done. With every newly painted wall and every assembled piece of furniture, there was an enthusiastic energy that kept everyone working strong.
Prior to the official challenge, designers met with LifeWorks clients to develop designs that would be very personalized. Rachel Guest of Red Earth Designs worked meticulously to make sure everything in her team’s unit reflected the client’s tastes.
“Everything we’ve picked, it’s something they can take with them and carry on and it can be a part of them,” Guest said, “They are customized pieces. We even hand painted on top of a head board, ‘make dreams reality,’ and that’s part of a quote that came from a song she likes. ”
Which Wich provided am amazing lunch. Volunteers enjoyed their sandwiches while taking stock of everyone’s hard work. Many were so ‘in the zone,’ they continued that work right through lunch.
For Angie Tyler, LifeWorks employee and first time HIC participant, watching the units come together made for a memorable day. The Home Improvement Challenge allowed Tyler to appreciate another side of the LifeWorks community.
“I work with the emergency shelter so seeing other programs within LifeWorks and seeing how they operate is a fantastic experience,” Tyler said.
Colleen Craig of C2 Interiors was also a first time participant in this year’s Home Improvement Challenge.
“I have a lot of respect of for what HIC is doing for these youths that have never really had anything or anyone to guide them through life,” Craig said. “That’s why I wanted to be a part of it.”
Volunteers spent the last hour of preparation putting the finishing touches on their units. Picture frames were adjusted and pillows were fluffed one last time to ensure that everything was perfect for the arrival of the judges, photographers and LifeWorks clients. Though each team worked to create the best unit and earn the coveted title of “Challenge Champion,” acts of encouragement and camaraderie were shown throughout the day. Teams lent tools to other teams and there was an outpouring of praise from one unit to the next as, one by one, rooms were completed. In the end, it was the Lifeworks clients who received the greatest prize. Thanks to the selfless contributions of everyone involved, each family was able to take one giant step closer toward a successful and secure future. Outstanding job, everybody! We’ll see you all next year.
Home Improvement Challenge Winners