Project has purpose

DeWayne Bartels
Melissa Phillips, left, and Traci Molendi, are working on Amanda's Project. Molendi, a Germantown Hills resident, is seeking help for the little girl.

Amanda, like most 8-year-old girls, wants a special bathroom.

Amanda also needs a special bathroom. Amanda is confined to a wheelchair due to paralysis from the waist down.

Tracy Molendi, a Germantown Hills resident and owner of Simply Organized and Staged, is among those working to see Amanda’s wish comes true.

Molendi could not say a great deal about Amanda, which is not her real name. The girl is in foster care and her foster parents are going through the juvenile court process to adopt her.  

“She is the most vivacious loving little girl,” Molendi said. “She is wonderful. She just wants a bathroom she can use.”

Amanda sort of fell into Molendi’s lap.

As president of the Real Estate Staging Association of Illinois, Molendi thought it would be good to find a public service project for the organization.

She contacted the Children’s Home in Peoria and was told of Amanda’s situation. The family lives in a small home in Peoria with two bathrooms, neither of which is handicapped accessible. So, Molendi grabbed the situation and began recruiting others to help with the project which is estimated at $25,000.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Molendi said. “Our goal is to be working on the bathroom by February.”

Amanda’s Project calls for enlarging one of the bathrooms and making it handicapped accessible and putting laminate floors throughout the house to aid Amanda getting around in her wheelchair.

The group of volunteers working on this project includes Phyllis Hermann, a Washington resident.

Hermann, who just returned from an overseas assignment for Caterpillar with her husband, was looking for a job when a friend at RE-Max told her about Amanda’s Project.

Hermann became the fundraising chairwoman for the project.

“This is going to be my full-time job for a while,” Hermann said.

 “She’s a tiny little thing. When I first met her she wheeled in, put her hands down on the table and said, ‘Let’s get started.’”

Hermann said the $25,000 goal does not intimidate her.

“I know how this area pours their heart out for people.

“It’s not an insurmountable goal,” she said.

Anyone wishing to make a cash donation can do so at any PNC Bank branch to Amanda’s Project.