web analytics

Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2013: The Youville Centre

Welcome to my new Blog!

This post is a special one for me, not only is it the very first post on my new blog, but it is the reveal of Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2013.

As you know, I have been the lead designer on a charity event called Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition for the last 3 years. Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition takes place during Kindness Week in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Kindness Week is a city wide initiative that encourages community members to choose to be kind and recognizes those who engage in everyday acts of kindness.

This year, the EMKE team, was presented with a possible recipient that stole all our hearts and we knew we need not look further.

The Youville Centre, a place where a young woman who may have thought the road to happiness and fulfillment was beyond her reach, can rise above the challenges that have been placed upon her and take what ever life has to give. She is not alone, and she can be anything she wants to be.

The Youville Centre provides single mothers a chance at a brighter future for themselves and their children.

The mothers receive a quality, accredited high school education through the M.F. McHugh Education Centre that features individualized programs, small classes and parenting courses.

Youville’s dedicated team acts as positive role models for all students. A wide variety of support is provided to encourage young mothers to be independent, contributing members of society.

The Extreme Makeover

The request from staff at the Youville Centre was to provide a room that the young mothers could call their own. I wanted a space that they could kick back with a coffee or tea, read a good book, chat with good friends and get away from the challenges they are facing day to day. This space would be something most of these girls have never had in their lives, a space that they could see themselves striving to have in their future. This task was not a simple one, but it was one that the TBB team was bound and determined to give them, a gift we could give as one mother to another.

The Room

My first visit to the Youville I was given a tour of the centre and brought up to date on what happens there. What an incredible place it was. I was eager to see the space that I would be making into the new Student lounge the anticipation was killing me. At the end of the tour I was brought up to the room, the door was opened and to my horror it was a tiny class room. My heart sank as I didn’t know how I was going to make a beautiful room out of tiny space like this let along a classroom. I had my work cut out for me.

This is what I saw…..


The wish list from the girls at the Youville Centre 

  • Sitting area
  • Coffee Maker
  • Bar fridge
  • Water Cooler
  • Wii with Wii fit
  • Music player
  • TV
  • DVD player
  • large mirror
  • Kobo readers

My wish list

  • Comfortable sitting area
  • Refreshment area
  • Storage
  • Computer area
  • Second Seating area (for eating, reading, working)
  • New floors
  • New Paint
  • Soft lighting
  • Window treatment
  • Soften the space, make it warm and cozy rather than the cold classroom they have
  • Fabrics
  • Art work

All of this, and we had a week to make it happen and everything had to be donated!


The Floor Plan


I worked quickly on getting the floor plan finished with elevations of the space so we could get a visual of what we needed to go forward. When a clear plan was in place, we began to look for contributors.

This was not an easy task I can not tell you how hard it is to get the donations from the larger companies without getting the needed publicity around the event. We had a lot of sleepless nights and worrying but somehow in the final hours Ottawa stepped up, and we were off.

D.E. Kinkade Konstruction LTD was if full gear, trying to get it complete for The TBBs (Extreme Makeover Team) to come it and make the magic happen.


Calling all TBBs! lets get it done ladies


The hard work was complete, and the beauty of the room left us breathless. We even sat there and shared a glass of wine after it was finished, just taking it all in before the big reveal the next day.





Pictures are worth a thousand words…the Reveal of the New student lounge to the Girls of the Youville Centre



Its time to relax to a job well done



Extreme Makeover Kindness Edition 2012 was a great success but would never have been possible without contributors. Thank you all for helping us give this gift to the girls at The Youville Centre.


Thank you to all the very generous people who submitted cash donations to the cause. Because of this we were able to buy the following items.

  • Wii U system
  • Wii fit
  • 2 Wii games
  • Music player
  • IKEA Chair
  • Movies
  • Water cooler
  • Keurig Coffee maker
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, candy  & drinks
  • AccessoriesI would also like to thank the CTV Morning Live & Daytime Ottawa for their media attention around this event, for without the media we do not exist.

Looking forward to Extreme Makeover 2014! Visit Extreme Makeover Kindness Editions new website! www.emke.ca

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *