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Happenings: A Makeover for Miracle Workers

The much-needed redesign of a non-profit’s office space will enable its staff to work more productively and focus its efforts where they matter most—on children and families.

By Robert Nieminen

The much-needed redesign of a non-profit’s office space will enable its staff to work more productively and focus its efforts where they matter most—on children and families.

Editor's Note: It is far too seldom that we are exposed to feel-good, human interest stories in the media. So it was with particular enthusiasm that we agreed to publish the winning entry in Gunlocke's first ever "Office Needs for Good Deeds" contest and share the story about the transformation that took place in one office, which positively impacts the lives of so many children.

There are few crimes that occur in our country as tragic and shameful as those perpetrated against children, and the most recent statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services on child abuse and maltreatment are enough to convince anyone to join the fight against such cruelty.1 Thankfully, there is an untold number of dedicated people and organizations who are devoted to fighting childhood abuse, where victims of maltreatment can turn to for help.

One such deserving non-profit organization in Urbana, IL, received a generous amount of support from a leading furniture manufacturer in the A&D community to help its staff work more productively and focus its efforts where they matter most—on children and families. In an Interiors & Sources exclusive, Gunlocke proudly unveils the Grand Prize $75,000 makeover recently completed for Crisis Nursery—the winner of its first "Office Needs for Good Deeds" online office makeover contest.

Crisis Nursery is an organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse through the provision of emergency intervention and support to families in crisis. It provides short-term, nurturing care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to children ages birth through five, when no other resources are available to help, according to the organization's website. The Nursery is committed to preventing child abuse and neglect, and its goal is to keep children safe, while also strengthening the family.

Crisis Nursery was one of 116 non-profit organizations that submitted pictures of their offices to Gunlocke along with a written description of their scope of work and how an office makeover would positively impact their ability to better serve their communities. A panel of judges then selected 10 semifinalists, which were judged on their devotion to execute the non-profit's mission, their positive influence on the community and the need for a more efficient workspace. One look at the "before" photos seen here—and in light of the organization's mission—it's clear that a redesign of their offices was essential (and well deserved) for these miracle workers.

"The Crisis Nursery feels extremely fortunate to have been chosen to receive this much-needed makeover of our working space," says Stephanie Record, executive director of Crisis Nursery. "Since all of our funding goes to support children and families, our mismatched furniture of desks, chairs, tables and filing cabinets were not items that we could afford to replace. Gunlocke's modern, functional desks and storage units are better designed for our spaces allowing everyone to work more productively. 

"The makeover has also been a tremendous morale booster for staff members who have become accustomed to working in less than ideal conditions, and it has enhanced the professionalism of the office space for donors who enter our doors on a daily basis to support our mission," adds Record.

The redesign of the Nursery features Gunlocke's award-winning casegood line, Silea™, a unique furniture solution that incorporates functional necessities like technology integration, wire management and innovative storage. Silea was selected as the winner of the 2010 Bloom Awards, produced by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and Interiors & Sources, in the Furniture/Casegoods category for its sensible environmental footprint as well as for its aesthetic elegance.


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau. (2010). Child Maltreatment 2009.
"We're extremely pleased with the newly redesigned space and all it has to offer to those who work for Crisis Nursery," says Don Mead, president of Gunlocke. "Being able to provide a deserving organization like Crisis Nursery with beautiful, new offices is something we're very proud to do. We hope our efforts have produced not only a more productive and attractive workspace, but one that the hard-working Crisis Nursery employees can enjoy for many years to come."

Additional sponsors and products of the "Office Needs for Good Deeds" online contest included Johnsonite Space™ modular resilient flooring and wall base, Luxo Terea™ task lighting and Loft™ uplighting, as well as Pratt & Lambert Accolade® acrylic latex interior coatings.