Cellular shades, the economical choice
We’re constantly striving for advancement; more is always better with us humans, which is why, giving stands out as a deed that is always appreciated. Giving means having less, and is an act that aids another and not the self. Abigail had no man in her life, no children either, just a really huge company she’d built from scratch. She had all the things money could buy, and she got here all by herself. She was the exhibit ‘A ‘of an independent, self-sufficient women. The words of Gandhi resonated with her thoughts, “To find yourself, you must lose yourself in the service to others.” Not only do random acts of kindness go a long way to helping others, but also give you a sense of fulfilment and inner joy. Growing up in an inner city in Chicago was never easy, especially when her father had deserted them at a very young age. She remembered that night like it was yesterday, he smiled at her and told her he loved her, which was the first time he’d done that, and in the morning he was gone.
Since she was the eldest amongst her two sisters and brother who was the smallest, the onus fell on her to help her mother support the family. Life was hard but it had taught her to be diligent, work hard or die trying. She didn’t see the need to date, petty activities that only slowed people down. The idea of taking time away from work to keep someone other than a family member happy seemed unnecessary. She was as focused as a horse with blinkers on. Also, at this point for a woman with her financial status, there were mostly men who were after her money. Her maternal urges weren’t very dominant as she spent her years growing up parenting her younger siblings alongside her mother. So, she felt that there was not need to procreate. All her siblings were now grown up and settled down, her mother found love at the age of seventy-five in an old age home. Abigail had come to a point in life where she needed a sense of fulfilment and this time, not monetarily or romantically. She realised she’d achieve this by giving to those, who like herself, went through a challenging upbringing. She visited a few homes for the poor, making monetary donations but she wanted to do more.
One day after a lunch meeting with a client in Queens she decided she’d take a walk, let her mind roam. She must have lost track of where she was going for when she snapped out of her train of thought, she found herself in this inner city neighbourhood. She walked further and saw a rickety board on a gate in front of her, “Theresa’s Orphanage for little girls”. She entered and saw a little girl sitting quietly on the swing, but she wasn’t swinging, she just sat there with her head down. Abigail went up to her, “Hello” she said. The girl looked up at her. She must’ve taken her by surprise. “What’s your name?” she asked. “They call me Abby” she replied. “What’s that you’ve got there?” Abigail asked pointing to her stuffed bunny rabbit that looked like it had seen better days. “They say I came with it. It was brand new when my father left me here. I don’t remember him, though, but I know he’ll come back for me, he’ll buy me a new one then.” What the little girl said moved her to tears, she saw herself in little Abby. She finally found what she was looking for and she wanted to do more than just donate money and eventually forget about the place. She really wanted to make a change and give Abby and all the other girls a better life.
These girls were living in indigent conditions, apart from their torn clothes and ill groomed appearance, the place needed a makeover, the mouldy walls and cracked ceiling was a cry for help. What was worse, the windows were covered with newspapers and just the look of that, was depressing. After talking to the owner, a humble woman named Theresa, who clearly didn’t have anything to her name but this home; it was evident that she was doing this out of the goodness of her heart. Whatever little donations they got from the church was just about enough for food and basic survival, clothes with no holes and holes with no rats were a luxury for these girls. When she told Theresa that she wanted to change things around in the orphanage, the look on her face was priceless, there were tears in her eyes, “You’re the angel we’ve been praying for” she said.
Abigail hired the painters and contractors for the house. A lot of work had to be done. She decided that she would put in all she could from her own pocket and chalk the rest up to the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility. The walls needed to be repaired and painted; the roof redone and the wooden panels in the floor needed to be replaced, to name a few. Also, the orphanage’s HVAC system was outdated and ended up consuming more electric energy so that definitely couldn’t stay. There was one thing she could do, handle the window treatments.
Abigail found that the best option for this place would be energy efficient cellular shades. These shades topped the list for insulation and functionality. The fabric’s honeycomb design that resembles hollow tubes stacked one on top of the other ensured advanced insulation by forming air pockets that trapped heat, keeping the interiors cool during summer and warm during winter. This phenomenon reduced the output of the HVAC system, which could reduce the electricity bill up to 45%, which was a good thing in a place like that, where being frugal was a necessity for survival. There was the option of single or double cell fabrics; Abigail thought double would be better since the more the layers, the better the insulation. The winters could get pretty nasty and they had already lost a few to pneumonia since proper medical help wasn’t available. These shades kept a good deal of noise out as well, allowing the children a good night’s sleep and good concentration while studying. Good grades were necessary, that’s how she’d come up in life.
For the common room, she picked a lovely blue for a cooling effect to the ambience. In the dormitories, she put pink shades. She knew how much little girls loved pink in their bedrooms. The pink shades had room darkening fabrics to allow the girls their undisturbed beauty sleep. These shades had the virtual cord system that allowed you to operate the shades with a remote control. It wasn’t rocket science, easy for children to understand, with “up” and “down” buttons, along with a “my” button that stopped the shades anywhere midway. This system further enhanced energy efficiency as their light sensors could automatically lower and raise the shades according to the heat outside, taking a load off the air-conditioning system. Another pro of the Virtual cord system was that it removed the risk of strangulation or entanglement, a safety hazard common in houses with children and pets, so this system was a must in a house full of children. These shades were Green Guard certified which meant that they were emission free and were Microban treated, which prevented the formation of bacteria and mould, ensuring a healthy environment for children.
It took around a month for the work to finish and you could tell the girls felt brand new. Ms Theresa couldn’t stop thanking her and saying, “God bless you, child.” Every month, Abigail set aside a good amount of her salary to help the girls. She slowly started replacing their wardrobes, bed linen, etc. Of course, there was a standard amount set aside for food and daily supplies. She made it a point to visit them at least twice a month and had grown very close to those girls. Abby’s father had never come back, but she did get a new bunny, they all did.