A Message from our Founders: Coffees in hand, sitting outside Vintage Cafe in Mt Pleasant, SC, we (Hope and Carey) sat across from each other creating and dreaming together. We focused our energies on creative ways to engage people in Social Impact Projects that bring about restoration of hope for everyone involved. We believe that engaging a person’s desire to “do something good” during well planned and organized projects creates a ripple effect for good.
As a leader in the Event Planning Industry, Hope gained knowledge and inspiration during events with organizations such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Ffoundation. Seeing the ways that a commitment to generosity had power to change the giver and the receiver, Hope set forth to create her own unique “give back” social impact project ideas that corporations could easily include in their annual leadership conferences, retreats, and multi-day meetings.
Carey, experienced in needs assessment and creating ideas for helping bring about positive change in school systems and communities at large, leapt at the opportunity to partner with a best friend to brainstorm social impact projects.
In 2016, the “Clubhouse Challenge” was born and we formed Doors to Dream, a 501c3 non profit organization to get the ball rolling. The Clubhouse challenge is a unique social impact project, where teams of 8-10 volunteers construct a custom designed clubhouse for a deserving child. The majority of children we have worked with are children with cancer. The nuances to this project allow for relationships to develop during the build, highlighting the child as the star of the day. The volunteers work shoulder to shoulder with co-workers on an “outside the normal routine” project.
From 2016-2018, we built over 15 personalized backyard clubhouses for children facing moment in time tragedies such as childhood cancer, or loss of a parent due to gun violence. Witnessing the positive effects of this one social impact project, got us thinking about how to deepen our reach and grow roots for change in our community. Drawing on Carey’s experience in inner city schools and youth ministry, we felt led to pursue underserved youth in Charleston. The youth would take the place of the corporate client teams of volunteers and become the architects, designers, and the project managers during the social impact creation and execution. We saw this as a way to open doors for underserved youth to connect to the community, gain skills, and have a restored hope for their own futures.
Significant wealth and opportunity gaps exist within our community primarily putting African Americans at a disadvantage. The city of Charleston is working hard to acknowledge the effects of historic legacies of slavery and racism on current generations of African Americans. Doors to Dream is committed to being an active leader within our community for the Social Justice and Racial Equity movement in our midst. After some research and needs assessment we landed at Burke High School, a Title I school with great potential and hardship within its walls. We spent 2018-2019 building relationships with Burke students and staff and completed our first student designed and completed social impact project with a group of 10th graders.
We are thrilled to have arrived at Burke! Equipped with our new mission to empower underserved youth to pursue their dreams, we are seeing lives transformed and feel confident we are right where God has called us to be.
From that first sunny afternoon at Vintage Cafe to our current pursuits, we have remained firmly grounded in our faith, relying on prayer and wisdom to direct each of our steps towards realizing our goals. We are humbled by the ways God has provided thus far and we are so encouraged to see the ways He brings about His purposes for everyone who participates with Doors to Dream.
“We open doors. We give hope. We share love. We transform lives.”