Marcia Lamoureux … Someone You Should Know
I Recently visited with Marcia Lamoureux, Glen Ellyn’s resident Birdhouse Architect/Builder and generous benefactor of a number of Charitable organizations, including our Glen Ellyn Food Pantry. She is a true artist and to say that her enthusiasm is infectious, would be an understatement. We met at her home on Hillside Dr, in Glen Ellyn; a house that she and her husband rescued from demolition and lovingly restored to its original splendor.
Marcia had already restored 3 other historic homes, prior to tackling the house on Hillside; doing most of the work herself. She replaced damaged flooring, installed inlaid flooring, replaced and restored millwork & cabinetry; the list goes on. Her father was a teacher who built homes part-time with her uncle, a full-time builder. Marcia soaked up their passion for building structures, with fine materials and fine workmanship.
The first birdhouse was inspired by a fancy gardening magazine that she read one day, while working on her own gardens. She put her artistic talents and building experience to work and built a beautiful birdhouse that she installed high above her flower beds. One thing led to another and her avocation was born. Marcia soon found herself designing and building birdhouses as donations to charitable organizations for silent auctions. She became disillusioned when she saw how little her birdhouses and every other auction item netted the charities. The people bidding on the auction items were paying as little as possible for the items; not an amount that recognized the time, love and effort that actually went into the creation of each item.
She decided to take a different tack and sell the birdhouses to the public, donating 100% of the purchase price to charity. She believes that if people know that they are buying a quality product that is locally made by hand…..not mass produced …and that 100% of the purchase price would benefit a local charity, they would readily make the purchase and feel good that they were at once, supporting their community.
You see, Marcia has a vision that extends beyond building birdhouses. She is on a mission to make a difference; to make people re-think some of our social issues. In her vision, charitable support within a community, buying locally fabricated merchandise, preserving our environment, creating jobs for the disabled that they enjoy, and the sustainability of each are all finely interwoven. If a business has a commitment to these, she believes that it will trickle up.
To that end, Marcia has partnered with a school for autistic children. She is teaching them how to assemble her birdhouses; finding each student a task that they can readily complete, and that gives them joy and satisfaction. The idea is to teach them skills that will allow them to earn money doing something that they love. She scours the Good Will shops, looking for pieces that she can repurpose to add a distinctive character to each birdhouse. She is currently contemplating opening a shop from which she can sell her birdhouses, and other handmade items, and envisions staffing it with volunteers from the charities that benefit from the sales of the items. Marcia has big plans and is open to collaborating with others who share her desire for change.
Come by the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry on Saturday, July 20th or Sunday July 21st, from 10am -4pm, each day. Purchase one of her “works from the heart” and support the Food Pantry in their mission ……Oh, and meet Marcia!!