Sunday, November 27, 2011

Handcrafted in the U.S. - Wendell August

After enjoying Thanksgiving feasts, lots of naps, shopping, movies and a four-day work break I've turned my attention to the Christmas season.
 So now I'm thinking about gifts and recently I've noticed a number of posts about buying and giving "made in the USA."  For bloggers focused on trying to support local economies, I thought I would pass along a company I was introduced to last year.  

My girlfriend Marta (and I know she is going to read this post), gave me a beautiful pewter ornament.   I own a very small collection of pewter and enamel over metal ornaments so the gift Marta gave me was a real treasure.  Marta told me that ornament was handcrafted by Wendell August, a company in her home town that burned to the ground last year.  Her purchase was to intended to help support the company and the local economy.  

I thought I'd pass along the story and a link to Wendell August in case you are looking for handmade jewelry, ornaments or other household items.  You are going to love these works of art. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

'Tis The Season - Warrick Dunn Family Foundation

Today was amazing.  

If you follow my blog you know about my involvement with Habitat.  This year our firm completed its 14th house and I've had the chance to get to know some wonderful homeowners but this year's homeowner was exceptional. 
Olivia signing the closing papers
Atlanta Habitat homeowners are required to take a year of classes with Habitat, put in 250 build hours and part of this time must be spent helping other homeowners.   Habitat homeowners work hard to achieve home ownership.  This year working with our homeowner I was often amazed with her.  We would get to the work site about 7:30 a.m. to unload the truck and start the work day.  At 4:00 when the work day ended, I generally came home to shower and take a nap.  But not our homeowner.  Olivia, a single mother of three, would head home to cook and feed the kids before heading off to work a night shift as a healthcare worker.  Every Saturday I would think to myself, I don't know how she finds the energy.  

Well today was incredible.  Each year the Warrick Dunn Family Foundation selects two deserving Atlanta Habitat families and the foundation in partnership with Aaron'sCOMPLETELY furnishes the homes and makes a substantial down payment so that the homeowner has very little to pay on their home.  Recipients of the Homes for the Holidays program requires that the homeowner must be a single mom.  Warrick Dunn began this tradition to honor the memory of his mom, a single mother of six children, who was killed when Warrick, the oldest child, was only 18.  

This morning many of us who built the house were asked to be there at 8:30 for the SURPRISE REVEAL.  Olivia had  no idea and thought she was coming to sign the closing papers.  As we waited for her car to pull up,  we were trying to figure out if she would scream or cry, or both.   Having worked with her for so many weeks, I knew her sweet and quiet nature and I was sure that she would sob.  She did, but she wasn't alone.  There were very few dry eyes in the crowd.  

We were asked not to take pictures as the event was a very personal moment with the family and Warrick Dunn put his heart into making sure that it was treated as such.  It was about Olivia and her beautiful family.  It was especially nice that Arthur Blank and two of his children came out to support Warrick and congratulate Olivia.   
Olivia finally signed the closing papers and we did take picture of that very special moment.   And Arthur Blank stopped for a picture so that I could send it to my Falcons loving son.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm a Rosebud

My mom at one of the Rosie gatherings
 And I'm proud of it.   A Rosebud is the daughter of a Rosie the Riveter and today the Atlanta Chapter held its quarterly meeting.  It was especially exciting that four Rosie's were able to attend.  

I get so excited at these meetings because it is a chance to meet and talk with individuals who are living history.  Two of my favorite people, Ken and Kathleen Powell, were able to make it and I was so happy to be able to sit with them.   If you click on the link you will hear Kathleen's story but having been a prisoner of war in Germany,  Kenneth too, has a story to tell.  
Four Rosie's now living in Atlanta

 Today's meeting was at Atlanta's 57th Fighter Group Restaurant which is located at the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport.   The great thing about meeting there is the fact that everyone in the restaurant recognizes and values the role these senior citizens played in American history.   For those who've never been to one of these restaurant's it's worth a visit.  It's like stepping back in time.  
Our President lined up a wonderful speaker who volunteers as a pilot with Angel Flight and I enjoyed learning about the work of the organization but the best part of the day for me was having time to visit with the Rosie's.  
President Billie Ruth Bird and Mack Secord, Angel Flight Pilot
Read more about some of our members and previous meetings as featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by clicking here
I've been working on a number of ways to honor veterans in my workplace on Veteran's Day but it was especially nice to have today to celebrate the amazing women who served.  

Stop by The Tablescaper and see what other bloggers are up to this Seasonal Sunday. 

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