Girl Scouts Dedicate Gold Projects to Door of Hope

Allison Budde and Alexandra Ehrhart selected Door of Hope to complete their Girls Scouts Gold Award projects, refurbishing several rooms to improve the feeling at the Pasadena nonprofit organization that cares for homeless families.

A pair of local Girl Scouts recently dedicated their Gold Award projects to refurbishing key spaces at Door of Hope, a nonprofit organization in Pasadena that takes in homeless families and gives them a temporary place to stay and helps them get back on their feet to find employment and permanent housing.
With help from Megan Katerjian, Door of Hope’s executive director, and Maggie Niewoehner, the manager of donor relations, La Cañada Flintridge residents Allison Budde and Alexandra Ehrhart identified their projects and then got to work.
Budde refurbished an upstairs area that serves as an office and meeting space for staff and potential donors. 
“The room was very dark, cluttered and overall just a depressing room to be in,” Budde said. “It only has one window, so it doesn’t have a lot of natural light.”
She’s developed an affinity for decorating rooms, she said, because of her participation as a part of the Junior Room Crew for the LCF-based organization Once Upon a Room, which goes to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to decorate the rooms of sick kids with things they like to lift their spirits.
“I love to decorate rooms, so this was a perfect project for me,” Budde said. “Having done this kind of room decorating, I was ready to take on a more complicated project that included a lot more hard labor — sanding, patching, caulking, painting and putting together furniture that comes in hundreds of separate pieces.”
Ehrhart’s Gold Award journey at Door of Hope began when her family brought dinner to Door of Hope residents through an outreach program at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, which Budde also attends. After learning more about the nonprofit, Ehrhart said she “was very excited about the idea of helping the families at the Door of Hope in a meaningful way, and eager to learn about the many different needs the facility had.”
After many meetings with Niewoehner, Ehrhart decided to refurbish the dining room and the living room. She repainted the rooms so they looked more inviting and cheery, repainted parts of the fireplace, touched up the bookshelf and window frames, added new pillows and wall decorations, created an “alumni wall” featuring families who have graduated and did an interactive art project with some of the residents there.
“One of the most challenging aspects of my Gold Award was the actual completing of all of these tasks, as they all took a lot of time and involved a lot of labor as well,” said Ehrhart, who spent a day taping both rooms and all of the windows in them and two days painting both rooms and adding touch-ups on the window frames.
She returned afterward to fix any imperfections in the paint, do painting touch-ups, paint the fireplace and returned several times to do my interactive art project with the kids at Door of Hope, put the new pillows in, and hang all pictures for the alumni wall.
“Lastly, I returned once more to do a ‘reveal celebration,’” Ehrhart said. “The residents and I celebrated the newly redone rooms over dessert.
The result of the Girls Scouts’ labor was impressive, Katerjian said.
“I’m standing in the office and shared meeting space that Allison redid upstairs and it’s fantastic,” Katerjian said. “And we reap the benefits every day of the job they did downstairs; it just feels so much homier and very welcoming — and the pictures of our program graduates is a great reminder for our current residents that they can make it, too. It’s wonderful.”
“Overall,” she added, “this project has taught me many things and helped me to develop important life skills. Because of my Gold Award work at Door of Hope, I have become much more self-reliant, I have learned leadership skills, and met so many nice and inspiring people along the way, namely the residents of Door of Hope.”
Said Budde: “I had a great experience and really enjoyed doing this project.”

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