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Barbara Zarrillo

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WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL
January 15, 2010

In 2001 through 2005, my husband and I sponsored children through World Vision. The organization has been helping communities throughout the world for over 50 years. They are completely trustworthy and understand the power of prayer as much as the power of monetary support. It is obvious that they care deeply about the lives of others. World Vision registers with agencies in many states, so it is possible to request information about them directly, if you feel that is necessary. But I can assure you that they are highly organized and dependable. I have a great deal of respect for their humanitarian efforts and outreach.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

sponsoring two children with them. We received correspondence and drawings from the children, thank you notes and constant expressions of warmth.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure it had even greater funds to accomplish all that it does.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The genuine gratitude from the organization and children whose worlds you so obviously impact.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help so many more children and their families than it does, especially with regard to facilities, education, sanitation and housing.

Ways to make it better...

receiving mail from the children wasn't as slow a process, but there are many factors to be considered, including postage and translation.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding, especially in these economic times.

One thing I'd also say is that...

If you want to experience much joy, consider changing the life of a child.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005

MY ROLE:
Donor & Sponsored children through them.

Deserving Decor
September 11, 2009

Reminiscent of HGTV’s Deserving Design, Beth Baker’s non-profit, charitable organization, Deserving Décor, was created with a genuine passion for homeless families – particularly for women and their children. Convinced that everyone deserves a place to live that is both clean and comfortable, Beth has faithfully pursued endless avenues to make her dream of decorating transitional apartments in Bucks County a reality. She has a contagious spirit and incredible endurance, which often translates into long hours spent in completing each makeover to her satisfaction. She seems to have a very thorough understanding of the fact that these apartments can be a true source of hope for their occupants, since they bridge the gap between a traditional shelter and a more permanent place to live. Working with the appreciative employees and volunteers of the Bucks County Housing Group, she does everything in her power to ensure that the rooms are sparkling clean; any worn out furniture has been replaced; artwork is coordinated with the space; window treatments and bed linens are crisp and fresh. When difficulties arise, Beth has impressive problem-solving skills and willingly returns to the apartments the following day (or days) to replace or restore items. I have worked with her and other volunteers in Doylestown, Penndel and Morrisville. No matter what the itinerary, she spends some part of almost every day in collecting donated furnishings and has put a great deal of effort into procuring storage space. She also remains fervent about finding any means of making the public aware of the organization and its needs. This requires her to spend hours in fundraising pursuits and in persuading others of the merits of Deserving Décor through social media and other platforms. Something that has really impressed me is her interest in the details of each and every makeover. She takes great care in the coordination of colors and design for the rooms, even when resources are extremely limited. For instance, there is a continued need for lamps and artwork. On two occasions, she has mentioned purchasing lamps herself, to match existing ones, and has been excited about finding them. I have also witnessed her taking home window treatments and linens that she will personally clean and return to the space – and have seen her on her hands and knees scrubbing bathrooms, along with the rest of us. Although upon entering an apartment it is often disheartening to realize how much work will be needed to prep it for decorating, I think every volunteer walks away from the scene uplifted, gratified for the moments spent in improving someone’s world, and full of imaginings of how the family will respond to its seemingly new and captivating space. Beth is no quitter, and there are many families in Bucks County who I am sure will be eternally grateful for how she has magically transformed their temporary residences into warm and inviting homes – a giving stranger, who demonstrated she cared about the quality of their lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

its creative and amazing transformation of transitional apartments into inviting living space.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

experiencing the genuine concern for those who are less fortunate and financially unempowered, and having the satisfaction of knowing that the hard work will bring much joy - to the new occupants and to the volunteers themselves.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

notably dedicated to the tasks at hand and eager to provide inviting, creatively decorated rooms for the homeless. In each instance, we worked as a focused team to thorougly clean the rooms prior to decorating. Volunteers were hard-working and caring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Move forward to other counties in PA, (perhaps even to surrounding states)with an established headquarters. Transportation of furniture,quality of materials,staffing and public awareness could be improved.

Ways to make it better...

there were a way of knowing in advance when a shelter move out will take place, but this is an impossibility - making scheduling of volunteers a challenge.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

funding; availability of lamps and art work, as well as volunteers during the day for makeovers; public familiarity with the organization; storage.

One thing I'd also say is that...

The founder, Beth Baker, works tirelessly to address all aspects of Deserving Decor's operation. It cannot be underestimated that the organization is only in its infancy and much has already been accomplished.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I am a volunteer Communications Specialist for the organization. I also have helped to clean, paint and decorate transitional apartments for the homeless. I attend meetings and assist in promoting the efforts and goals of Deserving Decor by means of a n.