Greenhouse Restoration Fundraiser

Have any you heard of Giving Tuesday?

giving-tuesday

If not you’ve surely heard of Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday, and/or Cyber Monday, right? Well Giving Tuesday is the charitable version of those shopping days. Most statistical reports agree that almost 1/3 of all online charitable giving happens during the last month of the year. That’s a lot for nonprofits!

I can see two possible reasons for this, first many individuals choose to make their donations during the holidays. It feels like a Christmas gift. I know I tend to feel my most “it is better to give than to receive” during December when I’m buying and making gifts for friends and family. Additionally, some folks (especially millenials it seems) are foregoing extensive Christmas lists and encouraging charitable donations in lieu of yet another Christmas sweater. Finally, at the end of the year, folks are trying to give their final gifts for tax purposes. They can see how their home budgets are ending and where they can and need to give a bit more for that tax write-off. Whatever the reason, we in the nonprofit sector are incredibly thankful for the feeling of charity and good cheer that seems to permeate the hearts of everyone during December.

So, Giving Tuesday highlights the work and needs of nonprofits. It provides a way to kickstart a month of charity or at least provide a medium for people to use in making their final donation decisions of the year.

Last year I had a Giving Tuesday campaign planned out. We were, as you may recall, attempting to raise funds for our regular restoration projects around the house. We had been awarded a grant from the state, as well as two other grants for projects like replacing the gutters, repairing the chimneys, and painting the house. Last year Giving Tuesday was December 1 and the fire occurred on November 3o. This year, though, we’re giving this another go!

lyman-estate-greenhouse

The Lyman Estate of Historic New England highlights its greenhouses.

One project that myself and our board has been discussing is the restoration of the greenhouse on the west side of the house. You can see the greenhouse frame as you drive by on Chavez and the rest of the pieces are in our basement. The greenhouse isn’t original to the Whaley House, but we do know, from conversations with their grandson, that Mary Whaley had a “flower room” off of the dining room, where the greenhouse frame is today. The structure we have was actually given to us by Gordon Anthony florist and it is an authentic Victorian-style greenhouse. Today, the Gordon Anthony florist is now owned by Vogt’s. We have some money that came with the structure to restore it, but that isn’t enough, which now explains why it still sits in the basement.

victorian-greenhouse

Although our greenhouse won’t look exactly like this one, found on victoriana.com, it will be similar coming off of the side of the house. 

We would love to set up the greenhouse! From the time I began at the Whaley House I daydreamed about the programs we could have with it, as well as the added room for regular tours. In the past the museum hosted programs on flower drying and even had a small vegetable garden, but I see so many opportunities. Children could learn about planting and growing flowers. We could hold programs on herb drying and the medicinal uses of various herbs. Greenhouses also have an interesting history connected to the rise of botany in the 1800s.

With all of this in mind, then, we would like to focus our Giving Tuesday campaign on raising $10,000 to aid in the restoration of the greenhouse. You can find our GoFundMe page here. Now that the house is being restored, it is the perfect time to work on the greenhouse and its installation and restoration. On Tuesday, November 29 we will be sharing our campaign and hope that you will too! Every small donation helps us move toward our goal and toward our dreams for the greenhouse.

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