Three letters hang perfectly aligned on the wall next to the fireplace as you walk in the main entryway of Tommy’s Place.
While there are plenty of moments throughout the house that honor friends and family members, these three letters hold a different meaning.
Call it a mantra for the house, the letters represent a message for the entire house: Not My Own.
Tim O’Connell, the founder of Tommy’s Place, said he learned about this phrase from a sponsor in Ohio. O’Connell said the sponsor’s pastor had said it to them one day and it really stuck with them.
Not My Own.
“It basically means that everything we have is here to share with other people,” O’Connell described. “This whole house is really about the same thing. All those people coming together to build this thing that we’re going to be able to share with families that have their kids fighting cancer. It’s like everything happens for a reason.”
O’Connell purchased the 200-year old former inn a few years ago and gradually turned it into a dream vacation home for children fighting cancer and their family. Located in picturesque Falmouth, Massachusetts the home offers a respite to families who have spent way too much time going in and out of hospitals.
Numerous tradespeople, craftsmen, designers and sponsors donated time and materials to make this vision a reality.
Bob’s Discount Furniture partnered with the Boston Bruins to furnish some of the rooms in the house. A big shout out to the Mighty Quinn for helping to pick out the furniture!
Quinn is a very brave five-year-old who is battling brain cancer.
Mighty Quinn’s Shopping Trip
Dressed in a custom Boston Bruins sweater with Mighty Quinn stitched on the back, Quinn entered the doors of the Stoughton, Massachusetts store and was pleasantly surprised when he was greeted by Blades, the team mascot.
Blades and members of the Bruins Foundation joined Quinn, his family and O’Connell for a very special shopping trip to help pick out furniture for Tommy’s Place.
Mark Hallonquist, a sales associate at the store, was Quinn’s personal guide for the day.
“When he came in he was looking for a couch and when I asked him what his favorite colors are, of course, they are black and gold,” said Hallonquist. “It made me really, really happy. I’m a huge, huge Bruins fan. I myself skated until I was about 50.”
The two toured the store and had a lot of fun testing out sofas, jumping on mattresses and relaxing in a massage chair.
“Today was my best day at work in 13 years,” said Hallonquist.
“When you see somebody that’s in a struggle and you struggled a little bit yourself and you’re in an opportunity to make their life a little bit nicer just for a day, and being able to be in a position like that where I could help a little boy and his family and my company trusts me to be a representative for them to do that, it meant a lot to me as far as who I am as a person. I got emotional at times with him because it’s sad and anything that we can do as people just to ease somebody’s pain, I think it’s a great thing. And I love working for this company because Bob’s is involved in doing that on a daily basis.”
A Visit From a Celebrity Designer
The building that O’Connell purchased to turn into Tommy’s Place used to be an 18 room historic inn. His plan was to transfer the former inn into a vacation retreat featuring 11 bedrooms, all with different themes.
And for this task, he knew he would need some assistance. So, he reached out to professional designers and asked them to help create a fun and relaxing space.
One of the designers he reached out to was HGTV host Taniya Nayak. The designer just happens to live in the Boston area, not too far from Tommy’s Place.
She was all in on helping O’Connell take his vision from dream to reality. Nayak and her team recruited 24 designers who worked to bring Tim’s vision to life in just a few short months. Her team, Taniya Nayak Design, also designed the living room, dining room and helped finish the kitchen.
“This whole mission is just so heart-warming to all of us that are involved,” said Nayak. “The goal here is just to get this place done, get these kids in there and make sure that they have the most incredible experience and memories for them and their families.”
Nayak and a few members from her design team take a shopping trip of their own to our Stoughton, Mass. store. They selected a variety of accent pieces and a very stylish and comfy chair for the entryway. The chair just so happens to sit underneath the N.M.O. letters on the wall!
The celebrity designer and host said she didn’t have words to describe how it makes her feel knowing that she is helping to create a retreat for children battling cancer.
“What I can tell you is that I love that we all have a contribution that we can make, whether it’s design or trades or art, whatever it is, or furniture,” Nayak said. “Bob’s is instrumental in getting this place up and running and I feel that every single person is bringing a piece of the puzzle together to create this awesome experience for these little ones.”
After all of the furniture and accessories were purchased and ordered, it was time for delivery day.
Our delivery team brought the BOBtastic Delivery Experience to Tommy’s Place. They made sure everything was placed in the correct room and set up properly. After all the furniture, mattresses and accessories had been delivered, the team cleaned up all the boxes and packaging material.
During the delivery, the team was greeted by Nayak who was on-site to check on the status of Tommy’s Place. She even took a minute to pose with our team in front of the super-cool color drip wall (see photo above).
A Dream Come True!
The day that O’Connell had envisioned for years finally arrived on July 17.
With O’Connell taking in the whole scene, The Mighty Quinn and his sister Maggie opened the front door to Tommy’s Place and began to explore the freshly renovated inn.
A burst of joy and excitement soon followed as Quinn and Maggie started making their way through the house, exploring each room.
“I’ve dreamt about that for years and years,” O’Connell said. “When that front door opens, I just want kids to run around and say, wow, wow, wow, wow and I saw it.”
He saw it indeed.
He saw the pure joy on Quinn’s face as he explored the Bruins room, took the car bed for a “test drive” and played air hockey in the game room.
Quinn wasn’t the only kid having fun that day. O’Connell and Quinn squared off in a friendly game of air hockey. As a bystander, it was hard to tell who was having more fun!
Quinn’s mother described the experience of exploring Tommy’s Place as simply, “pure joy.”
“I think for any child entering this home and for our kids for this week, that’s what the week will be about: it will be just about joy,” said Waters. “It might be situated on the Cape and they have amazing beaches, but you could spend a rainy day here and the kids would never get bored because they have thought of everything.”
A Longstanding Commitment to Giving
My team and I just love giving back to the communities we serve. From furniture donations, to Random Acts of Kindness checks to volunteer opportunities, the Bob’s team has a longstanding commitment to the communities we serve.
This commitment is part of the fabric of Bob’s. We believe in doing good and helping others.
Bob’s Discount Furniture Charitable Foundation has anchored the company’s philanthropic work for more than 20 years. Additionally, the Bob’s Outreach program was created as a separate entity to help schools and children-related charities. In total, Bob’s and its Foundation donate more than $2.75 million to charities through these programs each year. For more information on Bob’s charitable programs, visit Bob’s Cares, and follow Bob’s on Twitter @MyBobs, on Facebook, and Instagram.