Since 1952, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee has helped countless kids enjoy safer and healthier childhoods. Widely recognized as one of the nation's best children's medical facilities, Le Bonheur has been a vital part of the community and source of hope for kids everywhere. And, given their important mission and amazing reputation, we chose them as our community nonprofit partner when we opened our Germantown store location in 2019.
In addition to donating 10% of the store's opening weekend sales to this extraordinary hospital, we also wanted to help them accomplish their day-to-day mission of bringing positivity and joy to the children in their care. And as we are a storage and organization store, what better way to do that than to help them organize their Child Life office and storage space!
"Our team comes with a lot of 'stuff'--toys, art supplies, office supplies, birthday supplies, musical instruments, etc.--and keeping that stuff organized has always been a challenge," says Jessica Liles, Director of Child Life at Le Bonheur. "Patient care is our top priority, so taking time get organized tends to move to the bottom of the list. In addition to lacking the time to prioritize organizing our office, the organizational tools we had in the way of shelving and cabinets were less functional and took up a lot of space."
To help us tackle Le Bonheur's specialized organizational challenges, we brought in reinforcements: the amazing Karen Saenz and Ashley West from Blue Pencil Home, a Memphis-based professional organizing service. When Karen and Ashley visited the facility's storage room and met the Le Bonheur staff, they were quickly caught up in the team's love and enthusiasm for their mission. "When the staff of Children's Services talked about the children at Le Bonheur, their faces would light up," Karen remembers. Once we assessed their storage needs, we delivered the products and the Blue Pencil Team worked their magic.
After tidying up and sorting everything into groups, the organizers utilized our InterMetro Shelves, Multi-Purpose Bins, White Plastic Storage Bins, and even Elfa Shelving and Drawers to spectacular effect. When the project was done, the space looked brand-new and was so much more functional! "Blue Pencil Home was able to view our space with fresh eyes from an organizational standpoint," says Jessica. "They helped us create a functional space that feels calm and inviting, which is what a workspace should be. We had been embarrassed by our office in the past, so for the first time in our history we are proud of our space and excited to show it off!"
"Before the renovation, the office was often overflowing with items that didn't have a home, so things would end up in my work area," says Abigail Adkins, one of Le Bonheur's Certified Child Life Specialists at the Outpatient Clinics. "This caused me a lot of stress and distraction when I was trying to start or end my day with office work. But since the renovation, there is space for everything and room to breathe, making it a much easier place to concentrate on my work with our little friends at Le Bonheur!"
"Our office organizational makeover has exponentially helped me serve patients and families better," agrees Caroline Jones, Certified Child Life Specialist in Radiology. "Being able to easily see where our supplies are in the office has help me quickly grab what I need to and return to patient care. I'm so thankful for The Container Store's support to help us better our services to the patients and families that Le Bonheur serves."
But it wasn't just the Le Bonheur staff that was happy with the result of the project--the Blue Pencil Home team was just as excited. "It was very rewarding being able to organize all the gifts and craft supplies that have been generously donated by the community to Le Bonheur," says Ashley. "The shelving allows the Child Life Specialists to quickly find the perfect toy for each unique child, and the clear craft supply containers will allow easy access to any project a child would enjoy. Hopefully the new design will allow them to utilize these donations to the fullest."
We'd like to thank Blue Pencil Home for helping us with this project, as well as Le Bonheur Children's Hospital for their important and inspiring work. We're so proud to finally be a part of the Memphis community and look forward to working alongside them for years to come!