Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two men, one woman and six hands return to NOLA...

Josephine Phenix, Nancy Chalmers and Gladys Phillip pose in the kitchen.

After a few days at home with family in NC it was time to return to NOLA to help the rebuild process. Wednesday morning broke with blue skies, warm temps and a bright sun. Louis has returned for the week and brought his wife Nancy to be with us.

Nancy is a gifted interior designer/artist who has been operating a design firm for years. She came to NOLA to give her skills and artistic eye to the ladies we are working for. Both Mrs. Holloway and Mrs. Phillip are at the point in the process where the talent Nancy has is needed. Contractors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, Hvac technicians and masons build houses. The skills of an interior designer add color, texture, layout, furniture, finishes, accessories and an artistic eye that turn a cold colorless house into a home that expresses a living personality that is alive and vibrant.
Cabinets moving into place on Law St.

As we entered Mrs. Phillip's house on Law St the progress in one week was great to see. The old "cheap" aluminum windows were being replaced with new high efficiency vinyl windows. These will brighten the home with natural light and help with energy costs. Cabinets had arrived and were assembled and being installed in the kitchen. The hall bath tile was almost completed and much of it grouted. Trash had been removed and things are moving rapidly toward completion.

Mrs. Phillip and Nancy walked through the house and they talked about the paint colors, finish details and kitchen cabinet layout. Nancy then took Mrs. Phillip next door to her sister's home and they began to plan for furniture ordering and purchases. Today Nancy will return to spend the day with Mrs. Phillip snooping around the quality consignment shops for furniture. Nancy will also help Mrs. Phillip's niece Debra with paint colors and accessories for her newly renovated home.

After lunch we returned to Pauger St. to spend the afternoon with Mrs. Holloway. Earlier in the day, Nancy had spent time in the home designing the space for her kitchen, dining room and her mother's kitchenette. She also had an idea of the homes layout and future floor plan. When Mrs. Holloway arrived she an Nancy spent the next four hours going over each detail of those three rooms and the rest of the house. Here, Nancy's more than 30+ years of experience shined. Nancy was able to patiently guide and help Mrs. Holloway make critical decisions that this general contractor and my big brother civil engineer could never help her make. Nancy has already helped the rebuild process on Law St. and Pauger St. more than she will ever know.

Many folks do not realize ALL talents, giftings and skills can be used to help folks rebuild their homes in NOLA. Most of the folks rebuilding in the 6th, 7th, 3rd and 9th Wards might never be able to afford the financial requirements of working with an interior design firm. Nancy has the skills and the love of God in her to come and give her time and talents away to the Kingdom of God.

What skills do you have?

What talent to you posses?

What ability can you use?

How can you help rebuild the homes and lives of the citizens of New Orleans?

Vinyl windows going in on Law St.
One piece of Mrs. Phillip's furniture that survived Katrina.

1 comment:

  1. I'm afraid that words don't lend much to your efforts Jimmy; and cash is hard to come by. What I can and have done is to ask people to visit your blog so they can see for themselves what you're doing. Hopefully those that can contribute in more tangible ways will capture your passion and lend both hands and wallets to the effort. But I will continue to pray for you and Louis and Nancy, and for those who's lives you touch. God bless you!