Volunteers with Design for a Difference make headway at Common Threads Family Resource Center

One week after beginning renovations, volunteers with Design for a Difference are making headway at an area nonprofit.
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 5:30 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - After beginning renovations, volunteers with Design for a Difference are making headway at an area nonprofit.

This year, the community driven movement is benefiting Common Threads Family Resource Center, a school program that serves students who are autistic or neurodivergent. The final reveal is set to take place October 15, where staff and students with Common Threads will see the renovated space for the first time.

The 5,500-square-foot space is being designed with Common Threads students in mind. Volunteer and interior designer Joy Pontrello specializes in biophilic design, which focuses on bringing nature indoors. Pontrello said this concept could be especially soothing for students with the program.

“There’s so much evidence that bringing nature indoors for schools increased test scores, lowers stress, blood pressure, it’s just really phenomenal, so kids with autism you know just having a calming environment is just essential and an environment that they can thrive,” she said.

Pontrello nominated the school program for the free makeover, and once she found out they were chosen, she knew she had to be part of the process.

“You know just helping kids with autism and just walking in the door I just not only wanted to help benefit the children, but just the families that can walk in the door and just feel happy that they’re dropping them off at a place that felt inspirational.”

correction: An original version of this story indicated the Design with a Difference reveal would be on Oct. 16. It has been corrected to Oct. 15.

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