Military and Police

Holiday Home Makeovers with Nonprofit Homefront Room Revival

There’s nothing like being home for the holidays. When that home consists of white, undecorated walls, it can be difficult to get into the festive spirit. Homefront Room Revival works to help military families grace homes as they face frequent relocations.

The program is currently running throughout North Carolina. According to Homefront Room Revival’s website, the program aims to help both recipients and volunteers through fostering creativity.

Volunteers, including military members and spouses, work together to engage their creative sides. The program uses old furniture, which is in abundance anywhere near a military installation where so many residents relocate often, to create new décor through up-cycling. Items are repurposed, redesigned, or improved to meet the needs of the new room. They also create art and furniture to use in décor.

Homefront Room Revival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, meaning that they do not make any profit on the work that they do.

Dec’ the Deployment

Hanging up holiday decorations can consume enormous amounts of time and energy. When strands of lights don’t work or decorations come out of moving boxes broken, it can be tempting to just forgo decorations altogether. When a family member is deployed during the holidays, decorations can be a painful reminder that the family is not together.

Homefront Room Revival volunteers work with referred military families to come help spread holiday cheer. “Our creative elves make house calls to help invoke some cheer, galvanize community, and help you find your holiday vibe,” they tell families feeling the holiday blues. Recipients can choose from 15 holiday themes such as candyland, winter wonderland, and glitz & glam.

2018 marks the second year of the Dec’ the Deployment program. In 2017, the team completed eight holiday décor makeovers at three North Carolina bases. This year, families at Seymour Johnson, Cherry Point, Pope Field, Fort Bragg, and Camp Lejeune are eligible to apply. There is also an option to refer a family in need. Recipients are not required to live in base housing, but may also live “out in town,” meaning in a housing area in the larger area around the base.

Rewarding Work

Homefront Room Revival is as much about creating an outlet for volunteers and participants to express their creativity as it is room décor. The organization is “dedicated to providing military families with creative outlets to improve resiliency and enrich the military life cycle.” The military culture, which permeates base housing and military families as well, focuses on mission accomplishment. Homefront Room Revival believes that having a place to be creative will help military families thrive.

“Our creative team reaps in the benefits from finding personal healing through the creative arts and has a passion to share that outlet with the rest of the world,” says the organization’s website.

The Homefront Room Revival “Mission Morale” project includes:

  • Available time in an art studio for military families
  • Custom furniture, art, and décor for referred military families to use in their home
  • Whole room makeovers for referred military families
  • Lessons on up-cycling and repurposing old furniture
  • Dec’ the Deployment program

Homefront Room Revival is a member of the National Initiative for Arts and Health in the Military, sponsored by Americans for the Arts. The initiative aims to “advance the arts in healthcare, healing, and well-being for military service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers.” Research shows that creative outlets assist with both physical and mental healing, as well as increase resilience and satisfaction.

Homes Full of Heart

As much as the room makeovers make recipients smile and feel at home, the real work happens in the hearts of the volunteers. Having a creative outlet can make a real impact in the life of a military member or spouse experiencing the isolation that so often comes with frequent moves and time away from family.

It can also be a bonding experience for volunteers and families. Photos posted on the organization’s website and social media show smiling husbands, wives, and children all engaged in creative pursuits. Friendships are created and families are strengthened when volunteers work together to turn a rental house into a home.

“I discovered the magic of up-cycling furniture and after that first day I was hooked,” said volunteer Melissa of her time volunteering with Homefront Room Revival. “Now I’m up in the studio every week, hanging out with a great group of friends and learning how to transform so many pieces of furniture into something amazing.”

Along with other volunteers on the creative team, Melissa will be providing lessons in up-cycling and thrifting furniture to create a unique home for those interested. She knew how much learning this skill had improved her own life and wants to pay it forward. The program is free to military families in the Goldsboro, North Carolina area and includes complimentary child care.

Long-term Growth

Homefront Room Revival opened an art studio in Goldsboro, North Carolina in early 2018 as part of the Arts Council. Volunteers can use the studio to learn and practice new skills on their own pieces, as well as assist with up-cycling projects that will be used in upcoming makeovers. Founder Kate Tinsley has expressed gratitude for everyone who has supported Homefront Room Revival since it began in 2016. “Our organization is a very unique way to build authentic friendships, relax over the art of painting/crafting, and get involved in something with a genuine community impact,” she said in a thank you message in 2018.

The nonprofit aims to have regional chapters to foster creativity and create a sense of home all around the Untied States. They want to “spread positive vibes from the creative arts and enrich the lives of as many military families as possible.” Homefront Room Revival remains true to its grassroots and continues to rely on donations of money and time from volunteers.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Katie Begley

Katie Begley is a US Naval Academy graduate and former Surface Warfare Officer. In addition to being a military spouse, she is a freelance writer specializing in travel, education, and parenting subjects. Katie has worked in numerous communications roles for volunteer organizations and professionally for a local parenting magazine.

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