Miracle House needed a miracle. The New York City charity, which provides temporary housing for out-of-town cancer patients and their families, needed to redecorate the apartments it rents in a midtown Manhattan high-rise. The worn-out decor was doing nothing to lift the spirits of the dozens of people whom Miracle House serves each week (asking them to donate no more than $40 a night for a room). Far from home, these visitors desperately need to be comforted. "They call me in tears, not knowing if they're more scared of the cancer treatments or of coming to New York," says Suzanne Keller, the director of client services for Miracle House, which was founded in 1990.
Enter a miracle worker: designer Elaine Griffin, who calls herself a "high-end girl with a huge conscience and a double dose of creativity." She completely renovated two of Miracle House's five three-bedroom apartments, using donated materials and volunteer labor. In a whirlwind of southern charm and persuasion, she got major donations from Baker Furniture ($69,783), Circa Lighting ($10,000), and Bed Bath & Beyond ($6,000). "I've never seen high energy quite so high!" says Keller.
Tell Us About Your Good Works
O At Home would like to salute the men and women across America who volunteer their time to refurbish, renovate and redecorate offices, conference rooms, play areas and charitable organizations that could not afford to upgrade facilities on their own. Submit your stories and photos!
Good Works Makeover
O At Home
New York, NY 10019
All submissions become the property of Hearst Communications, Inc.
Miracle House, O at Home, and Elaine Griffin are grateful to our contributors: Avanza Natural Quartz, Baker Furniture, Ballard Designs, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bisazza, Circa Lighting, Decorator's Walk, Dell Computers, Great Windows, Greeff, Hold Everything, Home Decorators Collection, Lowe's, Philips Electronics, Reynolda Art & Accent, Room & Board, Sealy, Tommy Hilfiger, Stainmaster Carpet, Waverly, and Zoffany.
Take a tour of Miracle House.
From the Fall 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!