In the basement of the Harambee House, a Four Oaks site situated in the Wellington Heights neighborhood in Cedar Rapids, there is a small clothing closet. The Harambee House serves as a hub for community-based social workers, and many neighborhood residents go there to be connected to resources, including clothes or shoes for their children and themselves.
But there was a problem. Staff would bring a client to the basement, and the clothes were lying about in unorganized heaps on folding tables and the floor – and a few were hung from a water pipe on the ceiling. Even with the help of a volunteer, it was tough to keep things in order when so many people would look through the clothes each week.
To solve this issue, Four Oaks contacted Olmstead Construction, a local company with a long history of supporting Four Oaks, to ask for a donation to fund shelving for the closet. But Olmstead Construction was one step ahead. After taking a look at the space, they realized that they could easily build the shelving themselves.
With minimal oversight, and with only one employee, Olmstead Construction planned and built two walls of wooden shelving consisting of cubes and various sized shelves to accommodate clothing donations. They even added a long rod for hanging clothes.
“Olmstead Construction is a hands on type of business, so in that regard it was a perfect fit to take on this project in order to give back to Four Oaks and the community,” said Matt Olmstead, Vice President of the company.
There are endless ways for companies to get involved at Four Oaks. While traditional financial donations are important, we challenge you to think of non-traditional ways that your skills and expertise can help Four Oaks in its mission to assure that children become successful adults.