EDWARDSVILLE — If you’ve lived in or near Edwardsville long enough, you likely know about Restore Decor. Through their work, the business soon looks to celebrate the community with a fundraiser.
The group’s mission is simple: It collects donated, used, and unwanted furniture from community members; asks community volunteers to paint 25 to 30 new pieces each week giving them new life; sells the pieces every Saturday morning for a few hours at the Restore Decor retail store in downtown Edwardsville; and, then, gives the proceeds from the sale of the furniture to an individual in the community in need or to a local non-profit organization needing funds. The organization gives away all the money it raises besides the amount needed to cover its expenses.
Dana Adams, co-founder of Restore Decor, came up with this concept five years ago, and every year since she’s overseen this weekly process that has resulted in Restore Decor making an impact on numerous local lives in Edwardsville and its surrounding communities with the nearly $50,000 it makes.
Last year, Adams wanted to get a jump start on Restore Decor’s giving by hosting its first-ever fundraiser — “Celebrating Community: A window to the future.” The money raised at the fundraiser was set aside for expenses which allowed Restore Decor to put every penny earned to helping others.
Last year’s inaugural fundraiser was such a success that Restore Decor has announced its second annual fundraiser entitled “Celebrating Community: This is Our Story,” which will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Wildey Theatre, 252 N. Main St., Edwardsville.
Tickets for the “Celebrating Community: This is Our Story” event are $50 per person which includes hors d’oeuvres provided by A Catered Affair, one drink, and the opportunity to purchase some special furniture pieces.
Restore Decor’s retail location at 111 N. Second St. is currently closed until the Jan. 26 fundraiser. This way, volunteers can enjoy the holidays and also focus on preparing furniture.
“Our volunteers will continue to pick up furniture and paint excluding the week of Christmas and New Years,” Adams said. “During that time we will be preparing some very special pieces that will only be available at the fundraiser on Jan. 26 at the Wildey.”
About 30 new furniture pieces created by volunteers will be sold during the fundraiser.
“Our volunteers have created some good Pinterest ideas,” Adams said. “They already have a children’s kitchen and a children’s little workshop built that have been converted from old night stands. We’ve done them before, and they have gone over very well.”
Also, Restore Decor has a new volunteer, Mark DeRemer, who brings some serious painting skills to the Restore Decor table.
“He is kind of a renowned painter,” Adams noted. “He has started painting pieces for us and donating them. He is already working on four pieces that I know of for the fundraiser. He creates pieces that are one-of-a-kind and are a little more unique than some of the pieces that we just paint every week to have in the shop.
“He’s very passionate about what he does, and it’s just such a blessing that he’s willing to use his talents and teach us the things he knows as well as donate pieces to us,” Adams added. “Even better than his creativity and his passion for painting is his passion for helping people. We’re so fortunate that he got connected with us. He’s going to have some incredible pieces at the fundraiser.”
After Christmas, Adams will be posting some teaser photos of the furniture pieces on the Restore Decor Facebook page. “We’re also going to be putting some of the pieces in our Main Street window this year as we lead up to the event,” Adams said.
Although the Restore Decor retail store is closed, volunteers are still working and needed.
“One of our biggest needs right now is the need for strong volunteers to help us move furniture,” Adams stressed. “On Monday evenings, our volunteers pick up furniture pieces from people in our community who want to donate but don’t have a way to get the pieces to us. Almost every Monday night we send out two or three teams of guys to pick up furniture so that we have ample furniture to paint for the week.”
There are also volunteer opportunities to paint the furniture. Drop-in volunteer painting takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evening as well as from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and noon to 2 p.m. on Thursdays.
“It’s the best kind of volunteering. You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to bring anything, and you don’t have to have any special skills. You just show up with a willing heart, and we will do the rest,” Adams noted.
Wednesday nights are reserved for special groups of about three to 10 people who would like to paint.
“The SIUE tennis team is going to come after the first of the year,” Adams said. “We have had sorority and fraternities from SIU, the Rotary and civic groups have painted with us before. The Edwardsville Children’s Museum has actually had a monthly staff meeting (painting). They can bring their own food and beverages, and it’s a great team building exercise.”
Thursday nights volunteers move the finished furniture pieces from the Main St. store location, where painting takes place, to the retail space on Second St. “So we need movers then, too,” Adams said.
Anyone interested in coordinating a group painting evening on Wednesdays can contact Adams, at 618-980-2018. Tickets for the “Celebrating Community: This is Our Story” fundraiser can be purchased online at www.WildeyTheatre.com or Restore Decor during painting times. Visit the Restore Decor Facebook page for more information about the organization.
“It really is just a celebration — we say this is ‘our’ story because the Restore Decor story is about how much we are able to do in the community, but it’s about how much we’re able to do in the community ‘together,’” she emphasized. “Because it’s our story if you’ve ever painted with us once if you’ve come to help us move furniture or repair furniture or shop with us, it’s all of our story of what we are able to do together.”