ELF Report from Anthony

As promised I have the special report from Anthony on his experience with the ELF project. I will send  Carmita’s full report as soon as I get it, Thanks so much for everyone who helped out in this project. Here is Anthony’s interview in his own words. It will make you smile. : )

It’s wonderful!  It was everything I was hoping for.

I am speechless; I have everything I was wishing for and more. I did not think they could revive this space.  It smelled different- like I was living somewhere nicer. I did not think it could be done. I really thought it was impossible for this apartment to look this good.

I will admit I was anxious, I was worried that maybe these strangers (the ELF crew) would take things away, that my neighbors would get up in my business and steal my stuff, or that I would not like the changes. I was afraid to think big because it would hurt if it was a letdown.  I had to put down my fears and just say “variety is the spice of life” I had to try something new.

I knew the Elf Project was unique but I kept this to myself and did not tell people this was happening. I actually lied to the neighbors and said these people were my mom’s friends. But I had a good feeling about the people I met. I said to myself “I trust these people” and I had a feeling this was some of God’s doing. I rolled with it, uncomfortably.

This has been by far one best times of my life and for sure it was Little Anthony’s best experience.

The last time I had a Christmas that was about Me -in any way, well that has not happened since I was a little kid. Having that feeling that someone was looking out for me -I have not felt that since I was really little, probably my son’s age. That hurts a little to even admit.

Just thinking about that day puts a smile on my face. I can still see everyone waving and saying Merry Christmas, it was so nice and everyone was polite and civil, and treated us like we were somebody that was worth loving and with so much respect.  I got a great vibe from the team and I kept thinking in my head “these people are just so nice”. They were the best people I have met in a long,long time.  It was like being in a TV Movie.   I got this special feeling when I first met Peggy (project leader) and I even gave her a hug. I must have been delirious, I don’t hug people. Everyone flashed me a for-real smile, not a fake smile.  I felt like I was recognized. I still feel like I was in a dream and I was king.

I have not moved a thing in the apartment.

Living Room

 I don’t want to screw it up and I do not want to move stuff out of place. I did not think the way they pulled it together could be better. The picture of me and my son when you walk is amazing.  When I look at that picture when I open our  front door, it feels like we OWN this apartment.

These gifts were not too much and not too little. I like the shelves, and the shoe holders, and the team knew exactly what they were doing.  It was just perfect. They were so precise and accurate and they were on point.  It brought life into the apartment and everything had a shine and glow to it. I  still have room for other stuff.

The blinds were so awful before. I can’t believe how hard  these people worked on my house.  I  looked at the blinds and before when I rubbed them, it would leave a  fingerprint from all the nicotine and now they are actually look NEW. And how  they got up to clean the top of the fan is beyond me.  The storage closet is put away, all organized  and you can see everything. I have been finding little surprises everyday.

The neighbors are asking to see it and I do not want to let  them see it. I want to keep it all to myself and little Anthony and I want to  just hang out in our special space.  I  don’t feel broke in a place this nice and clean.

I have not left the house except to go to the store since you did it. I did not even move the  brownies on the table.  I put a paper  towel over them to keep them moist. I just do not want to move a thing.  I like the dog statue protecting the table.  Nice touch. The mirrors are gorgeous and I like the way the setting was put  together, there is actual life in that gross kitchen.  These lamps look like they came out of some  mansion. My mom would love these lamps.

I get compliments on how the apartment looks. Everything I  did not have – I have now. I liked the telescope in the living room and to have  a clean window to look through. They painted the rooms, and so much more  space.  I like that we can be together in  every area.

My favorite part is Anthony’s room.

It is so awesome–that  is my most important area.  He was really  shocked and surprised. He just did not know what to say. He loved all the maps,  the books, the toys, and the exploration stuff.
Even though we have so much more stuff the room looks way-way bigger.  The cubby’s behind the door and the organization was incredible. It was  accessible I could find all my medicine and clothes. It made this small place  transformed and we can actually breathe in this space.

Little Anthony went to visit his mom on Christmas and she  called and said he wanted to come back early to be in his new room.  His room is like a play land and it is so
coordinated. Everyone really took his dreams and made it a reality. It made me  proud and glad I took a risk.

Crave–craziest thing I have done with food in my life.

The Crave (restaurant in the West End) experience was  hats-off the craziest thing I have done with food in my life. The people were  so gracious like I was a movie star. They said “enjoy yourself, get what you  want, and don’t hold back” and then they started piling plates on our table.  The kids were like off the charts crazy. It was like man vs food experience for  us. I brought my son’s mom and our family had never experienced anything like  that.  Add Nickelodeon at MOA on top of that. We  were “in the house”. We took pictures and laughed all day.

This whole experience it makes me feel like somebody

That  I was worthy and like I was part of the world and for once in my life -I  felt like a human. I am a single father and getting up is not easy when you are  physically hurting. Every day I promise him that I would not give up.  I am glad I hung in there.

That bike in the living room! I did not know a bike would  fit in this living room. I rode that bike right away up to the store to use the  money you left to get a lock for my storage locker.  The bike was adjusted right to my height and  I got on it and took right off. It was made for me.

I got up Christmas morning and rode that bike. I have not  had a bike for at least 15 years since I was a little kid.  I like that it’s MY bike. I am not worrying when I see the police when I am on this bike because I am not  on a stolen bike and hey- I got it for Christmas- it’s legit. I was like a  little kid.  Amazing freedom experience  all over again and I feel like a little kid in an adult’s body.  I woke up with so much energy. I rode that  bike like I was not sick or out of shape. I treasure that bike it was just  perfect and it felt like nothing was left to chance. Riding that bike was like God answered some of prayers.

I went to put my coat away in the closet when I got home to  find a really nice NEW coat in my closet, and jeans, socks, shirts, and clothes  just for me. I have not had NEW clothes from a NEW store in so long. I also  cannot believe all the clothes for Little Anthony and they are so nice. I am  also looking forward to using my crock pot and I want to use it for News Years  Day.  I already cooked the ham.

I loved the greetings of hope that people left. Reading those  kind words- that was when I lost it. It all just got very emotional. More than  a few tears came that moment and I was glad little Anthony was already in his  room.

I needed a push

Having this experience – It makes things a lot easier for  me.  It was just something that I could  not do.  I look at this apartment all day  and I did not know where to begin, there was so much to do and so many things  to fix. It is not easy getting up everyday taking a bus 45 minutes each way to  get  son to school and some days that is  all I got in me.

Your encouragement made me feel so special and I will rub  that off on him.  He is just discovering  everything in his room. It is like you people took so much time to find just
the right stuff, and NICE stuff. Whoever put together that little box of  treasures that he can look at with his magnifying glass was so thoughtful -like  we are at our own museum. Now we have all these maps, and we get to see all  these things around the world.  I am  hoping to get out and see some of it for real.

So, say thanks to the team and let them know that it was  everything that little Anthony wanted and it was so much more for me as a  person. I needed the push.  It gave me  ambition. It was so nice for you all to take the time to assess how much we  needed and then took the time to get to know US as people.

The space is my style and I did not know I had a style, and  it looks classy. We did a lot in that one day. A day we will never forget.
Thank you


About Karen

Karen Karsten, CPCC, CAC, has had several business careers, in government, finance, retail and publishing. Each career was a building block that helped her create the life she has now as a coach, writer and executive director of Rich Chicks and Creative Principle of Think You Can LLC.

Her companies, Think You Can (www.thinkyoucan.net) and Rich Chicks (www.richchicks.org) both explore the magic of prosperity and creating clarity about life values. Karen has total faith in the magic of belief. Notice how that works either way: belief of magic, magic of belief. Magic is there—in you, too. Take a moment right now and honor the magic in you.

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