Housing Works raised a record $1.1 million at its 9th Annual Design on a Dime event – a three day décor sale event to benefit a housing expansion program for people living with HIV/AIDS in New York City. Through advocacy and action, Housing Works battles the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS providing lifesaving services and entrepreneurial businesses to sustain these efforts.
Viacom (a long-time supporter of Housing Works) and Nickelodeon sponsored the Design on a Dime Benefit and Opening Reception which was co-chaired by five of design’s leading ladies including Viacom’s very own Vice President of Design and Construction, Yetta Banks. Other co-chairs included Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer, “The Chew” correspondent Evette Ríos and HGTV’s Genevieve Gorder and Sabrina Soto. For the past four years Yetta Banks has been a featured designer and this year her dedication as a co-chair helped to attract over 3,000 people to shop in over sixty rooms designed at discount by top interior designers.
“This year, I was honored to serve as a designer and co-chair with a group of fabulous women. As co-chair, I was able to use my voice to raise awareness for all of the amazing work that Housing Works does for the community and identify more partnerships in my industry. I engaged anyone who would listen because my goal was to make this the best year yet! It was a smashing success!” –Yetta Banks
The line to enter the Opening Reception snaked an entire city block – as people eagerly awaited their chance to buy designer décor at discount for a great cause. Nickelodeon’s adorable Peter Rabbit themed children’s room, complete with a tree house bed, attracted the eyes of many parents. Next to the calm of Nickelodeon’s room, people bullied past the ribbon cutting for the chance to bid on the furniture in Yetta Banks’ all-white fantasy lounge full of luxury fabrics, mannequins and mirrors. Banks let her imagination run wild – but admitted to what inspired her design: “Every year, I create an imaginary muse for the room and selfishly, it’s usually me” Banks said. “This year, I am planning one of the most important events in my life, my wedding. I used that as the inspiration for my vignette, a wedding themed bride & groom lounge.”
Yetta Banks channels her creative talents to help further the mission of Housing Works, but many employees at Viacom are inspired and committed to this cause too. Nickelodeon’s Russell Hicks (President of Content Development & Production) was honored at this year’s Housing Works’ Groundbreaker Awards dinner for his steadfast commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS and homelessness. Last month, Viacommunity Day volunteers packed into the Housing Works’ thrift shop to sort donations and track inventory for a day of community service.
I would like to raise my thrift shop glass – and salute all the hard work and stylish insights that went into planning such a fun and festive fundraising event. Design on a Dime is the perfect event for those socially conscious shoppers on a budget – looking forward to next year!