Good Sam Gives Back to Breast Friends

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GOOD SAM GIVES BACK TO BREAST FRIENDS

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it was a no brainer when it came to choosing a community we wanted to give back to. What we wanted to be more intentional about was HOW we were going to give back. We wanted to make sure that whatever we did, it had a lasting impact because we know that breast cancer is not something just fought through one month out of the year

We came across Breast Friends, a nonprofit located in Tigard, Oregon, whose mission is to ensure no woman goes through breast cancer alone. Their list of programming is quite impressive, offering workshops, art and journaling classes, a National hat program, wig and prosthesis, retreats, hiking and active groups, and so much more. We were so drawn to their expansive programs and how they were able to quickly turn their support virtually when the pandemic hit.

The women who run the organization are all survivors themselves. Resilient and strong, these leaders pave the way for fellow warriors and can meet their community at a true empathetic level.

When we originally reached out, we pitched the idea of remodeling their wig room. In meeting the ladies for the first time, we quickly noticed that there was a bigger need than a wig room refresh. We dreamt up of a full office haul. Up until now, their office was composed of generous donations collected over a couple decades and the women felt like they were ready to move forward with a more modern and open space concept to match their current mission. They also wanted an office space that could duel as a place for their in-person programs, events, and workshops. Good Sam understands the importance of connection and community so there was  zero hesitation in taking this project to new heights.

In one week we mastered the design plan and the women secured their new rental, one level below their old office, to make it more accessible for their community members. We sourced brand new desks, chairs, storage shelvings, picture frames, accent furniture, creamy paint, decor, and all the plants and greenery. We anxiously waited for 55 boxes to be delivered. A week later, we rolled up our sleeves with our incredible volunteer team and tackled the office makeover in 72 hours! Yup, 1100 sq. ft in three days, what a true testament in the power of doing good, together.

Day two was strictly focused on building all the furniture. We’re talking 20+ chairs, six oversized desks, sideboards, armoires, and storage units galore. It was a miracle that not one screw, peg, or pin was missed or mixed up. This 14 hour day was super intense, but our volunteers kept the room filled with laughter and smiles. We are endlessly thankful for them.

Finished space at Breast Friends

Day one was all about the paint. With precision taping and removal of all outlets, our volunteers came to not mess around. To give depth and texture to the walls, we taped off accent designs and used a different neutral color to make it pop! It broke up the walls nicely and gave some interest to blank corners of the room. Wrapping up day one, we cut, sanded, stained new shelving and spray painted their old shelving units to bring some life back into them.

“I can’t believe how fast you guys work,” Allison, Executive Director of Breast Friends, expressed. “The paint alone makes this whole space feel warmer and more inviting. I can’t wait to see what you guys are going to do when it fills up! I’m still in disbelief that this is all happening.”

“This space is going to open up doors for more women to come in and have a great experience with Breast Friends. We are so grateful. I see this as our future, going forward, like a refresh who we are. I want people to come into this beautiful space and feel welcomed, supported, and loved. I already feel all of that and it’s not even done.”
Alyssa, Patient Support Coordinator

Day three quickly rolled around and our engines were running on all cylinders. It was a race against the clock, but with every minute passing, the space transformed magically. There was so much overwhelming excitement. We intentionally decorated the place with pieces from their old office that held special meaning like their beautiful bra quilt. We made sure there were plenty of areas where photos can be rotated out and a couple gallery walls that spotlighted the strong women in their community

Check out some of the details in the space and hear from both the staff of Breast Friends and Tiffany, Good Sam Partner from @ustheremingtons, in the KGW Portland News spot.