University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences

(L-R) The Designs for Dignity team includes: Robby Rauch, Marketing and Events Coordinator, Jennifer Sobecki, Chief Executive Officer, Jordyn Hunter, Design and Logistics Coordinator, and Claire Tulloch, Project and Program Manager.

 

When you walk into the office of Designs for Dignity (D4D), you are greeted by a collage of photographs that showcase the beautiful interior design transformations they have done for numerous community organizations.

Located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, the 17-year-old design firm provides pro bono interior design services to not-for-profit organizations that do not have the financial resources allocated in their construction and renovation budgets for such work.

To assist this work, the University of Chicago Medicine donated 24 three-foot, diameter surface-mount LED light fixtures, valued at $70,000, to D4D that will be utilized in the design of a new facility for XS Tennis and Education Foundation. The South Side based organization provides academic and athletic support and enrichment programs for underserved youth. The facility will be completed in summer 2017.

An aspect of D4D’s work includes sourcing furnishings and other materials from interior design industry partners or businesses that need to unload moderately-used or extraneous items.

D4D’s contacts within the design industry connected the organization with Natasza Naczas, a Facilities Planner at the Medical Center, which resulted in the procurement of the light fixtures.

“After learning more about D4D and the organization [XS Tennis], I thought this was wonderful opportunity to support the community,” she said. 

 Jennifer Sobecki, D4D’s Chief Executive Officer, was excited about the donation and hopes it is the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship with the Medical Center.

“This is a win-win situation,” she said. “We receive great material to provide our clients and we have an opportunity to cultivate relationships with such institutions that are also committed to supporting the community.”

D4D has completed projects for organizations such as A Safe Place, Broadway Youth Center, Apna Ghar, and the University of Illinois Children’s Hospital.

Currently, they are working on 19 different projects in the Chicago area and are hoping to expand into other cities by next year.

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