Day three – Sunday April 8th.
Well, it was our second day at the IKEA site. Our first day was full of organizing, sorting, and overall figuring out how to build furniture. Needless to say, once we organized, we had bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms to be built.
Day two was an odd day as it moved fast and slow at the same time, but we all had an end time we were shooting for; 5:30. That was the magic hour. This was important, because this would be our first opportunity to go to the housing sites to see what our colleagues had been working so hard on; roofs, painting, building, etc. Meanwhile…5:30 was ticking closer to bringing one house a surprise of dressers, nightstands, and tables. This is what we were working towards.
For the last two days we had been working at a makeshift warehouse that in real life doubled as a thrift shop for the local neighborhood. We only saw each other and the Prints of Hope organizers…and IKEA boxes…a lot of them. As 5:30 ticked ever so much closer, we continued to build. Teams broke out and we each became an expert at something in order to get that one project done fast (fun fact, after you have done 8 KOPPANG IKEA dressers, a team of two can get one done in 20 min!!!)…We had the dresser team, bathroom team, cabinet team, and kitchen cabinet teams, to name a few. We even had micro teams of one who had “specialties” in large kitchen drawers for sinks, kitchen rails for the drawers, and dresser drawer builders.
Tick-Tock went the clock…5:30. Can we make it…can we get all of this done in order to provide this completed effort of passion with others? The answer; YES!!! 5 Kitchens, 4 bathrooms, 12 dressers, 6 armoires, 4 sets of tables and chairs, 14 side tables, 8 nightstands, and 4 couches completed our final day on site. We rushed to clean up our mess, and move all the items back into the shop for safekeeping, group photo, and a quick face cleanse with the left-over ice in the ice chest and we were off to Tresa’s home.
When we got there, two dressers, a night stand, and a side table, were already there and waiting outside. We called out to her, she came to the landing and started to cry, and then turned around to go back inside for a moment of privacy. At that moment in time, the swirl of emotion was palatable…I would not be able to pick one if I tried, I was overwhelmed. The IKEA team now had a new task…take what was built to its new home, transfer her items, and remove the old furniture. The sense of accomplishment was heady among the team. Being witness what our work had wrought is something that is hardly describable, but it is a lasting impression of what acts of goodness can do.
We walked back to our “home” high on emotion and achievement. We helped. We, this team of office dwellers, who have an obsessive enthusiasm for seniors and their well-being, collectively pooled our passion and directly improved the lives of 4 families over two days. We were the embodiment of what Tivity is and works to do for people: Live Healthy. Live Long.