Published April 16, 2019
Volume 3, Number 4

Rooms of Hope Provides Dream Room Makeovers to

Ill Children

By Hacienda Pulse Staff Writer
The mission of Rooms of Hope is to provide dream room makeovers to children with life-threatening medical illnesses or conditions. This nonprofit creates rooms that matter for children with serious illnesses or conditions during a time in their lives when life is anything but predictable. Each child is paired up with a project manager and interior designer who listens to the child’s dreams and aspirations. Together they design a space that meets not only the child’s immediate needs but also emphasizes what is beautiful to them in the design. As one child said, “My room in now a reflection of me and why I matter in this world. I love my room!”

When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening medical illness, like cancer or end-stage kidney disease, their world changes forever. Their daily life is now filled with doctors’ visits and treatments. If they are not hospitalized, they are often trapped at home without the ability to go to school or have friends visit because of their compromised immune systems. Such children are often physically and emotionally depressed as well. That is where Rooms of Hope can help.  

“We allow the child to dream again and create a room or space at home that is their safe haven away from all the treatments they must endure at the hospital as they literally fight to survive,” says Shelley Ham, Executive Director, who founded San Ramon-based Rooms of Hope in 2014. “In a world where they have no control, with outcomes unknown, they are allowed to have control and be creative.”  

Rooms of Hope also provides mini-dream-room makeovers for the siblings of each child chosen for a room makeover. On average, each makeover costs $7,500 per child and child’s family in financial donations and an equal amount in donated products. The funds are provided through donations by individuals, service groups, church groups, and corporations as well as foundation grant money and funds raised through special events.

“What makes us special is that we address the whole family by bringing in a loving team of donors and volunteers committed to creating the most unique dream bedrooms and spaces based on the children’s personalities/requests, all the while also committed to creating joy, sharing love, and giving hope to the entire family,” notes Ham. “We also provide mini-dream-room makeovers to all siblings as well because they need a little tender loving care, too. It’s not easy to watch your sibling go through so much.”

Rooms of Hope draws on the skills and dedication of more than 200 volunteers, including designers, contractors, electricians, seamstresses, muralists, local artisans,  and skilled people with big hearts. On average, the organization serves up to 20 children each year plus an additional 30-plus siblings. Room makeovers average anywhere from two days to two weeks depending on the exact needs of a particular family.  

“Every child, regardless of their prognosis, deserves a place to heal at home, and sadly, in some situations, a space to die as they are surrounded by everything and everyone they love,” says Ham.

The Hacienda community can support Rooms of Hope by volunteering for or sponsoring a room makeover or attending one of its special events. This year the group’s annual gala will be held on September 14, 2019 at Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton. The Rooms of Hope annual Beard Growing Contest kicks off on November 2, 2019 at First Street Alehouse in Livermore.

For more information about Rooms of Hope, please visit http://www.roomsofhope.org.