Our annual Elves In Disguise apartment makeover is our Main Event of charity projects every year. It involves a complete apartment makeover for a family currently living in subsidized housing in South Dallas. This year’s applicants are all very deserving, and we are awarding a complete makeover and scholarship to one of these families on Thursday, December 19, 2013.
Watch our web site for Elves Updates as Elves Day 2013 approaches and check out our Elves in Disguise page for more information and for links to videos and photos from previous Elves In Disguise makeovers.
What is Elves In Disguise?
Started in 1999 by a group of high school boys, the Elves in Disguise home makeover is in its 14th year. Since its early years, the Elves have completed roughly twenty makeovers, have provided about $50,000 in scholarships, and have helped transform too many lives to count.
The makeover is not just a home makeover. It’s a lifestyle makeover – but it starts with the home. By providing a safe, clean, and respectable home, and by ensuring that the family has a Christmas they will never forget, the transformation begins.
Recipients are encouraged to help themselves, to become independent, to set attainable goals and reach them, and to adopt a new, empowered mindset. Most of our families move out of Section 8 housing within a few years. For many, they are the first in their families to do so. And we currently have three students in college who would never have had the opportunity if not for the growing scholarship pool established to help them.
The makeover is the work of about 50 onsite volunteers and hundreds of others who help the Elves make their magic happen from the sidelines. Due to our donors and volunteers and our extensive network of resources, our teams complete a makeover valued at about $30,000 for a mere fraction of that. But the real prize is access to the New Hope Foundation Scholarship Fund. Each family member becomes eligible to apply for those funds to assist them in reaching their goals, whether it is to complete a GED program, attend college or trade school, or to clear obstacles that stand between them and a new and improved future.
Who are the Elves and what do they do?
The Elves are made up of about 150 donors and volunteers, many with their own stories of poverty. Each knows what it feels like to need help and to receive it, and they use the makeover as an opportunity to pay it forward. And several are former makeover recipients!
For just dollars per room, the resourceful Elves use new and gently used furniture and décor to give a motivated, hardworking family a beautiful home. Scholarship opportunities and other resources round out the day and lay the foundation for a brighter future.
This year’s Elves represent numerous Dallas area businesses, law firms, realtors, and families, at least six schools, three girl scout troops, two churches, various civic groups, and dozens of individuals. The Dallas Police Department provides security, and numerous community leaders have been known to stop by and offer their own encouragement, including Eddie Bernice Johnson and Design Star All-Star Champion, Leslie Ezelle, both pictured here. But there is one thing they all have in common, and it’s not their pointy ears or curly toed shoes. These volunteers all believe in the power of HOPE.