Cool Community Stuff We’ve Been Up To At Steinhafels!

Memorial Day, and these days after, are about much more than big sales and the unofficial kickoff to summer. As we take some time to reflect on our fallen heroes, and enjoy quality time with family and friends… we want to share a post about a couple unique community opportunities we’ve had the chance to take part in recently. One involves the fight to end teen bullying… the other involves an Illinois boy with a special wish.

ARCh Youth Team Presentation

We love to host local organizations in our Community Room when we can. On Saturday, May 20, we were proud to have the ARCh Youth Team present its program “A Celebration of Differences” right here at Steinhafels.

ARCh (The Association for the Rights of Citizens with handicaps) promotes the health, safety, and achievement of children and adults with disabilities. The Youth Team goes to schools and gives presentations that will hopefully one day help end bullying.

Here are some pictures from “A Celebration of Differences,” a teen-created collection of skits and personal stories.

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ARCh Youth Team group singing “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars during the presentation.

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ARCh Youth Team surrounding Brad Weller, a Senior Graduate of Mukwonago High School. They are recognizing Brad’s amazing achievement–reaching over 12,000 people through performances! They are also celebrating the 30th-anniversary of the Youth Team. 
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ARCh Youth Team performing an “Olympics” Skit, which shows the reality of how prevalent bullying is in middle schools. 
Make a Wish Recipient
Steinhafels is committed to taking part in all of the communities that support our stores–including our good friends to the south in Vernon Hills!
A “wish granter” with Make A Wish in the northern Illinois area recently reached out to see if we could help fulfill a boy named Jacob’s dream–to have an awesome gaming area in his home!
A local business supplied the computer and gaming materials, but they needed a place to put all that equipment.
Steinhafels donated this desk, and as you can see, Jacob’s parents might have a hard time dragging him away from his new home arcade!
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 A performance space and a desk… nothing too elaborate… but both of these projects meant a lot to some local kids.
Steinhafels is honored to have played a small role in both of these events, and we look forward to a summer filled with even more smiles from children across the community!

DS Tip Of The Week: Knocking it Outta the Park with Youth Bedrooms!

Baseball season is just around the corner.  Want to knock it outta the park when it comes to your youngster’s oasis?

This week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week comes from one of our Menomonee Falls designers. Beth Kealy has a knack for helping families transform their homes during all life stages. Are you looking to refresh your child’s room, but don’t want to spend thousands on new furniture?

Pictured below are some very fun youth bedrooms using bold colors, frames on a painted wall, unconventional headboard ideas, played up fairy princess designs, decorative lighting, and more.

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Beth explains, “These ideas pictured do not have to cost much, but can have a positive impact on your youngster’s place of fun and rest. Don’t be afraid to be creative and work with colors and themes that your child likes and has interest in. Make them part of the creative revamp of their space. They will have more pride in the space and a sense of ownership, and will likely keep it more tidy if they helped in their space’s creation.  Make sure there’s sufficient storage for needed items in the space.”

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Time to get started on your home run!  Interior design doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. We post a quick and easy decor tip every Monday. Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

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BLOG REWIND! Coats For Kids & Paying it Forward This Holiday Season

As Steinhafels and Fox 6 get ready for a new era of ‘Coats For Kids’… we look back on one of our most inspiring stories from last year.

We all love Vince Condella, but now that he’s retired, Meteorologist Tom Wachs is taking over!!  Tom and some dedicated volunteers will be at our Corporate Store in Waukesha on Wednesday, December 7, collecting your donations from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The first 200 people to come through the drive-thru donation line, and donate at least four (4) coats, will get one (1) pair of ticket vouchers to see the Harlem Globetrotters on New Year’s Eve (while supplies last).

No need to park or get out of your car – just drive on up.  It’s quick and easy, and most importantly, you’ll be helping kids right here in southeastern Wisconsin.

Now, let’s take a look back on our Coats for Kids Blog from last year… about a woman who truly took her donation to the next level!!

Yvonne’s Story (First Published 12/23/15)

Condella’s Coats for Kids‘ is a passion project that Steinhafels has been proud to support over the years.  The program is a community-wide effort to collect new and gently used coats for children in Milwaukee’s inner city.

Steinhafels has always been committed to community, so it was a no brainer to team up with Fox 6’s Vince Condella to help bring this project to a new audience. Each year the Salvation Army, Fox 6, and several other local businesses work tirelessly to make sure Coats for Kids is a success.

However, none of it would be possible without the fine people of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Hundreds of coats are collected every year–from Fox 6 viewers, to Steinhafels customers, and anyone else who is looking for a way to give back. Every year it’s humbling to see the generosity overflowing, just like the bins holding the coats!

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One of those generous people is Fox 6 viewer Yvonne Ondrejicka.  She wrote Vince Condella an inspiring letter.  We’d like to share a few excerpts of it with you to help you get in the holiday spirit!

Yvonne writes, “I just wanted to tell you about a wonderful event that my law firm, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. runs every year for employees.  It is called ‘Whyte Lights’ and each employee receives $100.00 in cash to ‘pay it forward’ in any way the employee pleases.”

Paul Eberle is the Chief Executive of WHD, where the Whyte Lights Program is in its 4th year.  He explains, “Simply put, it was the right thing to do.  Good companies invest in their employees as well as in the communities they serve.  They reinvest profits to support many of the underfunded nonprofits that provide the last safety net to the poorest among us. They donate employee time and talent to improve our schools, support our arts groups, and sustain critical civic organizations. By giving employees the opportunity to do something good with $100, Whyte Lights allows each of them to make good corporate citizenship something very personal.”

Yvonne goes on to write how she has always donated to Coats for Kids, but was disappointed this year because her daughters are grown, so she doesn’t have any extra coats. That’s when she had the bright idea to use her Whyte Lights money!

She says, “The next evening I went to 3 different Goodwill stores in my area (Waukesha).  I took my time at each one and found wonderful winter coats and vests in every kid size imaginable.  After the third store, I counted how many coats/vests I was able to purchase with $100.00 and I had over 20 items! … Last evening I went to the Steinhafels Superstore in Waukesha and brought in all 7 bags of coats.  People looked at me kind of strangely and asked if I brought all those bags.  I then told them the story of how they got there.  People were just astonished at the whole idea of an employer giving each employee money to ‘pay it forward’, and what a great idea it was to do this.”

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Eberle was thrilled to hear about Yvonne’s use of her $100.  When asked about it how it makes him feel, he says, “In a word, awesome!  Purchasing coats from Goodwill to help keep children warm this winter, while simultaneously benefiting the nonprofit, which provides training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages seeking greater independence, was a wonderful way to spend $100.  Yvonne rocks.”

We are so happy Yvonne shared her story with Vince, and with us.  What a great way to take a little initiative, and turn it into a thoughtful and meaningful gift this holiday season.

If you have a story like Yvonne’s, let us know!  Feel free to leave a brief comment and/or contact info in the Comments section of the blog.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!!!

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Special Spaces & Steinhafels: A Shared Mission of Creating Dream Spaces

Here at Steinhafels we are of course very proud of our stores, products, and the high quality we offer our customers.  However, just as important is our commitment to the communities we serve.  So teaming up with Special Spaces was a no brainer.  They help make dreams come true through furniture, and so do we!!

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As Special Spaces explains on its website, the mission is simple but zealous:  “We create dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening medical illnesses.  This is a place that only the child can dream or imagine while addressing his or her medical needs.  Our focus is answering one question; Where does a child go when battling a serious illness to find peace and comfort?”

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We had the pleasure of talking with Ann Swain of the local chapter of Special Spaces, to learn a little more about the program to share with you, our blog readers.  Special Spaces was actually founded in Tennessee in 2004.  The founder has family ties to Wisconsin, and the organization started working on projects here in 2012.  Nationally, they have redesigned about 600 rooms, including 50 here in the Badger state.

Swain is devoted to Special Spaces.  As she explains, “I’m passionate about making a difference in our community.  We have 4 healthy children, and we like to think that together we make a difference.  We couldn’t do what we do without the amazing directors.”

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Steinhafels is just one of many organizations that has donated to help create dream rooms for these special little boys and girls.  It means a lot to many of our employees, and it shows.  Swain says, “We love Steinhafels on so many different levels.  We love the people, and all of the workers we have dealt with.”

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Nothing is more powerful than hearing from the recipient families themselves. Here are just a couple testimonials:

“The boys just love it!  Brayden was Star of the Week at school and shared his whole Special Spaces experience.  They thought he was a celebrity.  Thank you!”

“Special Spaces is an amazing group of people that come together to bring smiles, laughter, and a positive outlook for families who are struggling.  It’s not a one time event; it’s a gift that stays with you for years to come.”

Steinhafels also had the honor of helping to “set the stage” for the Special Spaces Dream BIG Gala just a few weeks ago.  It’s a magical evening for everyone, and vital to keeping the mission going.

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If you’d like to learn more about Special Spaces, check out the group’s WEBSITE, FACEBOOK page, and video on YOUTUBE.  You can help make a child’s dream come true!