Playhouses delivered to foster families by 3 generous sponsors

ST. GEORGE — Trucks rolled into three separate neighborhoods Wednesday to deliver life-size playhouses to foster families to help bring joy to some of society’s most vulnerable children.

A child peeks through the window of a playhouse handcrafted and designed by Vintage Revivals in Santa Clara for Foster Parent Appreciation Month, St. George, Utah, May 17, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Ben Ashcraft, St. George News

To celebrate National Foster Parent Appreciation Month, three companies, Vintage Revivals, Sherwin-Williams and Pottery Barn Kids banned together to design, build and deliver three playhouses to foster families living in Washington County.

The efforts were coordinated through Utah Foster Care, a nonprofit agency contracted with the state’s Division of Child and Family Services.

The playhouses were delivered Wednesday to the three foster families, including Alegra and Russell Rohr, Amy and Curtis Bates and Connie and Ben Sowards. 

“It was so much fun to be a part of this and see the joy on the family’s faces.” Ben Ashcraft, lead foster adoptive consultant for Utah Foster Care in Southern Utah, said.

The playhouses were handcrafted and designed by Vintage Revival, each with its own style, colors and furnishings as individual as the children who would play in them.

“Each playhouse was a unique design and perfect for a little foster child’s dream,” Ashcraft said.

A foster family receives a playhouse handcrafted and designed by Vintage Revivals in Santa Clara for Foster Parent Appreciation Month, St. George, Utah, May 17, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Ben Ashcraft, St. George News

The donation effort coincided with May as National Foster Parent Appreciation Month.

Ashcraft, who went along for the playhouse deliveries, said he was very touched by reaction of the families, as well as the generosity that made it all possible.

“When the community gets involved like this, we are so encouraged as foster parents to keep doing what we do,” Alegra Rohr, one of the foster mothers in St. George and playhouse recipient, said.  

“Our adopted daughter will enjoy this playhouse for many years as well as any other children that may come in the future,” Rohr said.

Families were selected out of the available foster families in the area. Eligible families were asked to submit an essay outlining why that family should like to be considered to receive a playhouse, as well as describing how it would be used and how it would benefit the foster and adopted children in the home. 

“We got some really good essays” Ashcraft said, “and it was tough to choose between them as we recognize all of them are deserving of this in some way.”

Making it all possible 

The inspiration for the project came from Mandi Gubler when she was asked by the paint giant Sherwin-Williams to choose an organization to celebrate National Painting Week. Gubler authors the blog Vintage Revivals, which she said she started on spray paint fumes and blind enthusiasm in July 2010.

During National Painting Week, neighborhood Sherwin-Williams stores across the country give back to their local communities by donating fresh coats of paint to local organizations and gathering places.

Before selecting which local organization would be highlighted for National Painting Week, Gubler went through a process, as well.

“I thought long and hard about it. I prayed about it, and then one day after chatting with Cara a light bulb turned on and I knew just what I wanted to do. The organization that I chose is Utah Foster Care,” Gubler posted on her company website on May 19.

Interiror decorations and furnishings in a playhouse made possible through the Pottery Barn Kids store in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 17, 2017 Photo courtesy of Ben Ashcraft, St. George News

They contacted Utah Foster Care and discussed their plan to give away three playhouses, and after coordinating efforts, the work began to have them ready for Wednesday’s delivery and onsite setup.

“Having a friend go through the foster process has totally opened my eyes to it,” Gubler said, “and I have so much respect for those that open their homes and transform the lives of countless children with their love.”

The houses were then designed and crafted in Santa Clara by Gubler and her team through Vintage Revivals.

Since 2010, Vintage Revivals has amassed more than 250,000 monthly visitors, was named Better Homes and Garden’s Best DIY/Decorating Blog and has been featured more than 25 times in several magazines.

“National Painting Week is a time to refresh spaces, give back to communities and make bold impressions, showing what a big difference a simple coat of paint can make,” according to a statement on the Sherwin-Williams corporate website.

During National Painting Week, neighborhood Sherwin-Williams stores across the U.S. and Canada give back to their local communities by donating fresh coats of paint to local organizations and gathering places. In 2016 the company donated thousands of gallons of paid and its employees volunteered nearly 25,000 hours of their time to make a colorful impact in their communities.

The efforts were also made possible through the generosity of the Pottery Barn Kids store located in Salt Lake City, part of a national chain of stores that specialize in kids and baby furniture, bedding and toys.

“These families give so much to our community in providing the love and support to these foster children, it is nice to see community members turn around and give back to them,” Rohr said.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.  

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.