The Eddie Moreno Project
January 14, 2012
Recently, our team here at California Closets designed and installed a complimentary closet for a young man in need. It was truly a unique and fantastic opportunity for us. Our designer on the project, Joann Wilmeth, talks about her experience throughout her time with Eddie and discovering his personal needs.
What makes you passionate about the work that you do as a designer at California Closets?
I love to enhance the lives of my clients! Knowing that a project is completed and my client’s life is easier and more functional is so gratifying.
What are your goals when designing for a client’s specific needs?
The needs and wants for a custom storage space differ so greatly from client to client. Some have very specific ideas of what he/she is looking for, while others leave the solutions to me. Either way, my goal when working with someone is to listen first and foremost so that their needs are uncovered and the perfect solution is designed.
What can you share about what happened to Eddie and what brought about his need for your help?
Early last year, Alamo Heights High School senior and basketball point guard Eddie, was shot in a tragic road rage incident. Like any other high school senior, he was looking forward to graduation and starting college in the fall to become a basketball coach. In an instant, his world as he knew it was forever changed. The bullet that pierced his left cheek lodged in his spinal canal at level C2/C3. Eddie is now ventilator-dependent and has no movement from the neck down. The doctors say he’ll never walk again, but we know, and he believes, he will. The doctors did not predict that Eddie would survive, but he is still here with us. He is fighting every day. He truly amazes us!
What inspired you and your company to get involved with Eddie’s project & recovery?
Knowing how versatile and custom our product designs are, (based on the needs of the individual), I knew we were a perfect fit for Eddie and his family. The team on this project was amazing and dedicated to making life for Eddie easier on a day-to-day basis. I quickly knew I wanted to be involved.
What are the biggest advantages that Eddie will get from his brand new custom California Closets system?
With Eddie being paralyzed from the neck down, his personal use of our product will be limited. The caretakers and family members caring for him will find great pleasure with our product, though. It will be easier to locate Eddie’s items so that his recovery goes smoothly and be accelerated. There is a custom-designed place for everything, from clothes, shoes, to medical equipment. Their productivity as a family will skyrocket.
How does working on a community project differ from other projects that you do?
It’s a community project rather than getting business from a client. Being able to work with our community to better the life of someone like Eddie and his family is rewarding. This is a family that otherwise would not have our products in their home. I met a few of the family members at an ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) event in October. They were so gracious and thankful, and that solidified my feelings for helping. Very heartwarming!
Are you looking to do more work like this in the future?
I would love to continue to give to our community. I am from San Antonio and have spent my 38 years here. As a company, we have had the pleasure of working with Goodwill numerous times and, most recently, we are donating material and labor to a build for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It’s such a great experience as a company to share our products, what we can do, and give back to the community that made us successful in the first place. This is my home and, next time opportunities like these present themselves, I would most certainly participate again!
We are so very proud of Joann and her drive to reach out to the Moreno family – we would not have been able to do this for them otherwise! There’s even opportunity for YOU in our community to help. Visit eddiescourage.org to read about him, see photos of him and his loved ones, and to donate to his recovery.