Grit. Determination. A lifelong dream fulfilled.
If you think I’m describing a professional athlete, you’re wrong. It’s actually a spot-on description of a former preschool teacher turned firefighter, Marvette James, who I recently met through a partnership with the Washington Redskins and Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL).
While she looks back on her teaching years with fondness – saying her past students as “her kids” – she knew when the opportunity came along to become a firefighter, she needed to take action. Seeing that dream come true wasn’t easy, but through the challenges, she persisted.
Marvette shared her story at a recent surprise furniture delivery that my team was honored to be a part of. Along with Marvette’s family, Bob’s was able to provide furniture to three other first-time homeowners in Washington, D.C., all with stories of perseverance just like Marvette’s.
How I met the families
The GWUL selected four deserving families who had recently qualified to purchase their first homes. How exciting! Owning a new home comes with a lot of responsibilities, but luckily decorating is fun! So, my team and the Redskins stepped in to gift each family with items for their new homes, helping to usher in the next chapter in their lives.
“We are proud to be teaming up with Bob’s Discount Furniture and the Greater Washington Urban League to provide furniture to these first-time home buyers,” said Bruce Allen, President.
Throughout the project, we got to know the families and what furniture items they needed to spruce up their new homes. Everything from bunk beds for the kids, new beds for mom, dining room sets, comfy sofas. We spared no expense for these deserving families.
The donations kicked off in July as Gianni Ferguson, Melvina Cook and Lakisha Lewis – who have all participated in first-time homeowner classes and workshops through GWUL – were gifted furniture as they prepared to move into their new homes.
The Redskins recruited current and former players to meet each family on the day of their delivery, including Portis, former Redskins wide receiver Gary Clark, and linebacker Cole Holbomb. The players surprised each of these families with tickets to a Redskins game, signed footballs, and hugs.
The final delivery involved Marvette, who became the fourth deserving recipient of new furniture from Bob’s while also being recognized for her dedication to raising her four children as a single mother while giving back to her community in Northeast Washington, D.C.
Before her delivery took place, she visited our Hyattsville store and worked with store manager James Bush to pick out her new furniture. James grew up less than a few miles from Marvette’s new home so they had an instant connection.
Marvette’s kids came along to shop at the store and were jumping for joy on delivery day!
Our Chief Operating Officer, John Weldon, commented on the project, “Two of our most important company values are teamwork giving back to the community, so we were honored to provide furniture for these very deserving families. I think I speak for all the Bob’s team members involved on this project when I say how grateful we were for the opportunity to work alongside the Redskins and GWUL to serve the community in such a meaningful way.”
Each week, the GWUL airs a 30-minute radio segment on WPGC 95.5FM that celebrates local residents and empowers the community. The furniture deliveries were spotlighted on a recent episode and featured Washington Redskins Senior Vice President of Communications Tony Wyllie, Bob’s Discount Furniture Regional Manager Peter Bermudez and GWUL President and CEO George Lambert as the three discussed the program, donations and why it’s important for their respective organizations to give back to the D.C. area community.
“The Greater Washington Urban League is honored to work alongside the Washington Redskins and Bob’s Discount Furniture,” said George Lambert, GWUL President and CEO. “Together, we have made a difference to improve the lives of people in our community.”
Thank you George and the entire GWUL team, the Redskins organization and these amazing families! We were excited to see this partnership come to life, and honored at the opportunity to work alongside you to serve our community in such a meaningful way!