The nationwide furniture retailer had worked to remodel the space since September, leveling a former drop floor in one corner, installing new carpeting, painting walls and columns, adding a feature wall, creating specialized use areas, and installing stylish, brand-new sofas, chairs, lamps, ottomans, and more. The space was also furnished with a new wide-screen television provided by a generous donor visiting Chicago from Finland.
For the event, Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville and his wife Elizabeth helped decorate the room with balloons, streamers, and other party favors.
Then came the moment for the big reveal. One by one, the young women entered the room with astonished and delighted expressions to see the total renovation of their common space.
Fr. Scott thanked Bob’s Discount Furniture and the Chicago Blackhawks organization for their generosity. “November really is a time of Thanksgiving, it’s a time of gratitude,” Fr. Scott said. “All of my coworkers here in a special way, want to say thank you. Thank you for the wonderful work that you do for our young ladies.”
He also congratulated our young women for their hard work. “As coach said, we are terribly proud of each and every one of you. You know, this is a living room—a place where you gather, and you live together, and you support each other,” Fr. Scott said.
Cathy Poulin who serves as the Public Relations and Outreach Director at Bob’s Discount Furniture, was moved by the stories and the determination of our young women. “I hope you know how much all of us at Bob’s care about you,” she said. “I know that looking around this room, you always appreciate what you have and give back what you want to be given. If you treat others like you want to be treated you will be so successful, and we can all help this world in whatever way we can to become a better place.”
The young ladies were also treated to a big league pep talk from “Coach Q.” Quenneville, who led the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup championships since 2010, commended them on their hard work in making positive changes in life and urged them to take advantage of the support that our caring coworkers offer.
Blackhawks organization representative Ryan Gallante, who brought this outstanding opportunity to Mercy Home during the summer, thanked the young women for welcoming them into their home, and thanked everyone who helped transform the space, adding, “It’s our honor to be here today.”
Our young ladies showed their appreciation with gifts, and a special message prepared and delivered by youth Justise:
“We are just so thankful…When someone from outside these walls reaches inside, we know that we are supported. We are not forgotten. And we are valued. You all have come inside our world here at Mercy Home to help make this place better, and by doing so, you are also helping to make us better. Your act of kindness and generosity is overwhelming in the best way possible.”
Justise concluded, “Our lives and our memories in this living space will forever change by what you all have given us. And when you are surrounded by new and good things, you often feel refreshed. This furniture is not just a place for us to sit. This furniture represents a fresh start.”
After the reveal, the girls were treated to a nail salon and a pizza party.
Special thanks to our friends at Bob’s Discount Furniture, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Quennevilles for encouraging our young women.