LAKE WACCAMAW (December 18, 2023) – In the last year, a group of about 240 friends from across North Carolina – all former Jaycees – collaborated, raised thousands and secured in-kind donations from several statewide retailers to create a better home for the girls of the Jaycees Cottage. The Jaycee Friends’ 2023 Make It Better Challenge included goals of upgrading the main living areas of the Cottage with new furnishings and accessories, re-painting the walls, ceilings, and trim with new colors, installing new overhead lighting fixtures, installing new ceiling fans, and installing new window treatments in the Jaycees’ dining room, living room, and Study areas.
When the group gathered for a ribbon-cutting to re-open the home in December, the girls of Jaycees Cottage were stunned.
“One of the girls burst into tears when she went in to see it,” said Jerry Wall, one of the organizers for Jaycee Friends. “She was the only one of the girls who had lived there before the renovation. She saw the difference. That makes it all worth it.”
One girl said: “I love the new furniture, and I can’t wait to move in.” Another girl added, “This is the happiest I’ve been since I left home.”
The main focus of the renovation was the donation of a truckload of furniture – lamps, desks, art, rugs, tables, swivel chairs, couches and loungers – from Furnitureland South in High Point. Wall said the connection to the business was secured by past state Jaycee president and High Point resident Jim Morgan. At first, the group asked Furnitureland to suggest the types of furniture that should go in the Cottage. But the retailer said it would provide all of the furniture as a donation to Boys & Girls Homes instead.
“They were great to work with, compassionate and very much wanting to help,” Wall added. “That was a sizeable investment. I wasn’t expecting it at all. It was a knock-out!”
“As you know, each of these young women have experienced trauma at the hands of adults they once trusted,” said BGHNC president and CEO Marc Murphy in a letter to Jaycee Friends after the opening. “Jaycee Friends, time and time again, is sending these special ones the message ‘you are loved’ and ‘we have your back.’”
In addition to Furnitureland South, Sherwin-Williams donated 8 gallons of paint and Lowe's Home Improvement provided 11 new Levolor Faux Wood Blinds and 3 new Hunter Ceiling Fans at the retailer’s cost. Lowe’s also gave discounts on all the new overhead lighting fixtures in the cottage.