A group of students from West Bloomfield High School’s DECA group unload decorations from Humble Design to furnish a home before its residents, a recently homeless family, officially move in.

A group of students from West Bloomfield High School’s DECA group unload decorations from Humble Design to furnish a home before its residents, a recently homeless family, officially move in.

Photo provided by Julie Nagle


West Bloomfield students help furnish new home for recently homeless family

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published December 22, 2017

 On Dec. 15, a recently homeless family got their new home furnished and decorated by Humble Design with the help of West Bloomfield High School’s DECA club. The DECA club raised $3,000 for the effort.

On Dec. 15, a recently homeless family got their new home furnished and decorated by Humble Design with the help of West Bloomfield High School’s DECA club. The DECA club raised $3,000 for the effort.

Photo provided by Julie Nagle

WEST BLOOMFIELD — A group of West Bloomfield students made an organized effort to give a recently homeless family a home for the holidays. 

Students in West Bloomfield High School’s DECA club teamed up with Humble Design, a Pontiac-based nonprofit, to raise money to furnish a home for a family coming out of homelessness. 

The students in DECA raised $3,000 for the effort, which went to Humble Design for furniture and decorations for the home.

“We recognized, in our area alone, how many students and people in the community need help like this,” said Julie Zalla, WBHS marketing teacher and DECA adviser. “We recognized how much there is a need, and that’s what made us reach out.” 

On Friday, Dec. 15, a group of students and advisers helped Humble Design workers and volunteers furnish a home in Detroit for a local mom and her three daughters. WBHS students Julia Abramson, Kapil Vyas and Emily Hamama organized a day of service to help decorate the home for the family, including everything from beds down to silverware and not forgetting a Christmas tree, gifts and stockings.

The students raised the money by selling stickers, beanies, T-shirts and keychains to fellow students and school staff. People could also donate to the cause. 

“It’s everything from silverware to (putting) bedding on the kids’ beds, artwork in their rooms; toys will be given to each of the kids,” said Zalla. “(They’ll have) everything they need so they can start off fresh.” 

At the end of the day, the new home was revealed to the family. The woman and her daughters walked through the home for the first time as residents.

This is the first time DECA and Humble Design have worked together. 

Humble Design partners with eight shelters in metro Detroit and has those shelters refer families to the nonprofit as the family is exiting the shelter and moving into a home. 

Humble Design employees are connected to a social worker for the family. A design team takes care of the furnishing of the house by working with the social worker to learn about personal style and to match the furniture to the family. 

The design team, along with volunteers, then takes furniture to the house and makes it into a home. 

“Some (furniture) is donated by residents or furniture stores — but that’s few and far between,” said Julie Nagle, director of Humble Design. “Ninety-five percent is donated by the community. We take artwork, lamps, bedding, dishes, silverware, books, toys ... everything you’d put into a home, we take.”

The family usually leaves before the transformation and comes back when the volunteers are finished.

Working with DECA marks the first time Humble Design has teamed up with a high school group on a day of service. 

“It teaches them to come outside of themselves,” said Nagle. “With a group, it’s community. Kids giving back to kids. It makes you think outside of yourself during this time of year and doing something for others — it’s just contagious. You’re starting a movement within your generation to be the good.” 

For more information about Humble Design, visit www.humbledesign.org.