Paint It Forward Keeps Memories Alive | Republic Times
The refurbishment of a family heirloom from a local in need inspired Paint It Forward, a new initiative by Farm Girl Finds that offers makeovers of rooms or furniture to those in need.
On the day she was taking her mother for a cancer biopsy, Farm Girl Finds owner Lisa Maurer received a call from an unknown number.
She was a Colombia native named Angela Conrad Carlson, whose cousin Denise Touchette Crump, who also grew up in Colombia, was battling cancer.
“She explained the story and she said ‘I don’t think we have a lot of time, she’s in the final stages of her life, and it was her dream to have this dresser painted for her. daughter with her whole family.) China,” Maurer said.
Maurer explained that given the parallels in their lives — both families were navigating cancer — and Denise’s time constraint, she felt strongly drawn to the project.
“So I dropped everything and went to their house in a day or two and started working on the china cabinet,” Maurer said.
Dana Zimmermann, Crump’s sister, said seeing the cabinet remodeled and completed with her mother’s wedding china brightened up what was a dark time for her.
“She was just crying and so happy,” Zimmermann said. “It was something Denise didn’t expect.”
Zimmermann said Crump knew Maurer was working on the firm, but she had no idea what he looked like until the big reveal.
For Maurer, the project was bittersweet – she granted one of Denise’s last wishes just days before she passed away.
“It was a great experience, but it was also very sad,” Maurer said. “I think about the impact this will have on her daughter, who will benefit, but it’s sad that she passed away. She wasn’t very old to start with and she had children.
A few years later, and after Maurer’s mother beat cancer, a familiar face visited Farm Girl Finds.
“Last year, Angela came into my store and said, ‘Do you remember me?’ and I was like ‘Absolutely.’ We kind of reconnected after two years,” Maurer said. “I reached out to her shortly after and said, ‘You weighed on my mind and I feel like we should do some kind of project together. Let’s do some kind of makeover for someone, kinda like we did for Denise and make someone’s day a little brighter.
From there, Maurer, Carlson and Zimmermann came up with the Paint it Forward concept.
Through this initiative, Farm Girl Finds will provide furniture and bedroom renovations to Monroe County residents in need. Zimmermann, Carlson, and other family members help promote the project, with Zimmermann’s husband making the logo, and will help Maurer makeover once the recipient is chosen.
“We’re just looking for someone who may not have the means to do it themselves or who gives a lot (to others) but never takes the time to do things for themselves. Maybe it’s a single mom with kids who just can’t get a break, or maybe it’s someone like Denise who wanted to pass it on to her daughter,” Maurer said.
For Zimmermann, the criteria are also broad.
“I want it to be for someone going through a tough time,” she said, adding that the gift of a makeover ultimately comes from her sister. “I know Denise would be so happy that we could keep her memory alive.”