When I spotted Terry Grahl on Facebook, I immediately knew I had to do a story on Enchanted Makeovers. Enchanted Makeovers is a nationwide, non-profit organization that transforms shelters for women and children into a place of beauty — an oasis in a sea of confusion and fear.
After reading her story, I realized that she closed down her interior decorating business to found Enchanted Makeovers because she felt she had been given an opportunity to transform lives. As President, she manages the day-to-day operations full-time. We had a nice e-chat about her beautiful organization, which, in addition to transforming spaces, also facilitates events for the shelters. They redecorate with handmade items and furnishings or organize inspirational activities such as gardening, yoga, sewing and cooking classes within individual shelters. You can either donate financially or send handcrafted items to be distributed. “We wanted handmade kittens and dolls for every single girl [in a 2009 makeover for a shelter for girls]. Many times children and women have their innocence taken away and we want to bring that back into their life.”
Q: Terry, how do you pick the shelters you work with?
A: Shelters are chosen not only on the great programs they provide for the women and children but most of the time it’s how I feel once I have visited their website. Your gut feeling is always a great compass.
Q: How many projects do you manage per year?
A: This year, Enchanted Makeovers did seven national events and we always have our national projects and programs on a on-going basis. Capes for Kids is one of five national programs. Don’t wait for a superhero. Be One!
Q: Since Fauxology’s readers are mostly design and professional artists, how do they get involved?
A: We’re very open to working with artists and crafters on a one-on-one basis with a special event or makeover. When Enchanted Makeovers needs a certain piece of artwork, I think it’s so important for us to collaborate on [not only] how the art will uplift the human spirit but also have the artists be able to shine their own light.
If interested in becoming involved, please contact Terry via Enchanted Makeovers or message Terry directly on Facebook. Enchanted Makeovers also has a Facebook group and recently launched a national program called “Stepping into the Dream”, which has JCPenney as a sponsor. A child shares their dreams with an artist they have been connected with. The artist then paints the child’s dreams onto a pair of donated Converse sneakers and the child can remember, wherever they are and whatever the circumstance, that they have power to put “footsteps” into their dreams. Isn’t that powerful?
Whenever I volunteer, my first choice is always a women’s shelter. It’s a subject close to my heart and one I feel I can truly empathize with — especially the children. In fact, I have toyed with the idea of starting a career program with the local women’s shelter — if any women were artistically inclined, I would have them join the team during projects (if interested, of course) and show them how to manage their own creative business. They would get experience and a paycheck and I would have an enthusiastic team member until they were ready to fly on their own. I would love to explore that idea further at some point. Many abused women do not leave their situation permanently because of many reasons — one is the fear of being the sole provider for not only themselves but their children as well. It’s heartbreaking. I’m so happy that there are wonderful people and organizations such as Terry Grahl and Enchanted Makeovers making a difference. It’s what Love is all about.