Once again...our wildest dreams couldn't have imagined how Kate's Kart has continued to grow. We've been blessed the past 5 years with donated and extremely discounted storage space. We started with just 1 small (5x10) unit and over the years continued to expand into 2 larger units (10x15) They served their purpose for 5 years...they kept our books dry and somewhat organized.
But...we continued to grow and acquire supplies for our ice cream social and parades...more books were donated and needed to be purchased to maintain a supply that allows us to give out around 1500 books each month!
Our spaces were crowded...many times we would have to pull out the karts in the middle that housed extra books in order to work inside the small dark space. There was lighting...outside in the hallway...that turned off every 5 minutes and required you to walk down and wave your arm.
It was climate controlled....but a hot day you were sweating and in the winter you were freezing.
There was NO bathroom which meant often we had to pack up and drive to the nearest Arbys or gas station.
There was no place to sit...no place to work...no place to move!
But for 5 years they served their purpose!
Then one day we were talking...some board members...what would it be like if we could get more space...maybe a store front...someplace we could really utilize...someplace that would be comfortable to work in...someplace that would provide a place...a place for Kate's Kart?
After looking at a couple places...exploring options and analyzing our budget, the board of directors unanimously agreed to move into an office/storage space just down from our current storage units. We got the keys on July 11! We had a huge storage area in the back...
we quickly filled it with our books and supplies! But...we had more shelves...and more room to move around. A team of friends and volunteers moved everything over in about 6 hours. It was amazing...books were reorganized and put back on shelves!
and we were SO ecstatic to have this...our very OWN! It's the little things!
And then there was this front office area...we had a bookshelf and some posters...but we wondered...what if? What if we could have tables and chairs for volunteers to sit on...a desk for me to work at...what if?
There is a desk and printer so that I can come and hold office hours and complete my work
There is filing space so that all the files could come out of our personal filing cabinet
And one night...there was a perfectly fine leather sofa sitting next to the dumpster...a place for others to sit!
A friend donated a shelving unit...where we can display shirts, pictures and other fun stuff
People bought tables and 10 chairs....volunteers can sit and work
A school donated a conference table...we can train new volunteers around it
There are other tables (some not even up) so we can have large work sessions
There is a fridge to offer a cool drink to volunteers
There are plants to make it feel homey
And there is a very cool mural that Grandma painted..just to make it feel warm and loved!
And...there is a sign....a sign on Dupont Road...a pretty busy road, just across from the hospital that let's the world know...Kate's Kart is blessed...Kate's Kart is here...Kate's Kart is making a difference in our community.
Yes..our daughter's name is "in lights"
And did I mention...we have electricity with our own switch...a bathroom...heating and air we can control...it's pretty amazing.
Seth absolutely loves it here...he asks to go to it several times a week and work. He loves to sticker books and put books away...and sweep...and take out the trash (oh yeah, there is a dumpster right outside our door so we don't have to bring the trash home anymore)
Grant likes it too...and now with more space...a couch...a place for him to get a drink...there is much more room for him to play or color or even watch a movie while mommy (and daddy) do a little work.
Andy has been Mr. Handyman...almost everything that was bought for us...yes EVERYTHING you see in the office area, restroom and back area, minus extra shelving, was DONATED to us....needed to be assembled!
Our family is blessed..beyond measure...and now even more we can bless our volunteers with a safe, warm/cool, comfortable place to help.
I try to maintain office hours a couple times a week...I get a lot of work done when I'm there (no internet..no distractions of home). And...you can even sign up to come help me...check out our website (www.kateskart.org) and look for the sign up genius link. I've got the times I will be there...and you can volunteer to come help...no need to be a hospital volunteer...you just need to come and sticker/sort/book keep/scrapbook/or whatever I need done!