We know many of you are anxious to hear whether we found "our girl". We announced a contest a little more than a month ago, where the winner will have her room decorated by Phoebe in honor of her new book, The Joy of Decorating. We cannot tell you how many wonderful, heart-warming stories we received.
In the end, we selected Amanda, a lovely young lady from in St. Augustine, Florida. Below is the letter that stole our hearts. How could we not choose her?
I would like to nominate Amanda, the daughter of a co-worker. I have to be completely honest and say that I have not met Amanda but have an instinct that she is one special 13 year old girl. I asked Lynn, her mom, to write something about Amanda and to send it to me and also asked her permission to submit her name as a contestant to this wonderful and generous opportunity to have her bedroom done by Phoebe Howard and her team. Below is what Lynn wrote:
Amanda is a funny and smart 13 year old little girl with Cerebral Palsy. She is physically challenged but mentally sharp as a whip!!! Music is her love!!! (Scotty McCreery, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber, The Jonas Brothers, Aerosmith, Lady Gaga). She is also fantastic on her iPod and computer. She also enjoyed performing in the school choir when she was in elementary school. She has such a wonderful sense of humor but is also a very emotional little girl. She worries so much about her family, friends and teacher. She has such a big heart and always thinks of others first before herself. She always wants to make sure other children have clothes and toys and likes to go through her stuff and donates them. She has recently decided that she wants to cut her hair and donate it to Locks of Love for those children with cancer. It upsets her to see those without.
Amanda will be having back surgery sometime the end of April or beginning of May. She will be in the hospital for a week and out of school for 5 weeks. She is having rods put in her back to fix her scoliosis caused by the Cerebral Palsy. Mike and I were talking about redoing her room for her because she had asked since she is now a teenager and wants a big girl room. We would love to do this for her so that she will enjoy it during her recovery at home after surgery!!!!
When I talked to Lynn about the contest and to ask her permission, she thought it was so ironic that she and Amanda's dad had recently discussed doing her room over. I am sure you will receive many entries and all worthy of being chosen. Like I said to Lynn, doesn't hurt to try. I can assure you that this little girl would surely think it is the best thing to have happened to her since meeting Selena Gomez at a concert in St. Augustine this past summer. Good luck to all the 13 year old girls.
We feel honored to work with Amanda, and we are very excited to give her a lovely room to come home to after her surgery. Phoebe is meeting with Amanda and her family soon, and we will share more details and photos as soon as we have them.
Phoebe is trying to start a charity called "Myra's Room" in honor of her Aunt Myra (see our post about the contest for more background). We are hoping to get other designers and sponsors on board so we can make these room makeovers happen for many more deserving 13 year-old girls. If you are a designer or vendor who would like to contribute, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry!