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Giving Back: How Margaret of Changing Places is Serving the Butte County Fire Victims

When the devastating Butte County Camp Fire ravaged Northern California in November, Changing Places owner Margaret Walsh knew she needed to help. 

Margaret was diagnosed in 1984 with celiac disease, a genetic autoimmune illness. The body cannot ingest any quantity of gluten. She knew that the emergency food given out, Meals Ready To Eat (MRE) had gluten in it. Therefore, it was imperative to find food for those who had to be on a gluten-free diet.

Margaret contacted Jennifer Iscol, President of the Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California, a friend through their mutual support of celiac disease awareness and advocacy. Margaret is the West Coast business advisor for Beyond Celiac.

Jennifer told Margaret the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo taking place in San Mateo that weekend would potentially have 300 pounds of food to be donated. She needed more volunteers to help arrange transportation and make community contacts. At that point, it did not appear likely any of the food would be transported for fire relief or reach people with a medical dietary need for it.

Margaret rented a van and, with the help of her neighbor Alain, headed to the San Mateo Expo. Due to low attendance caused by poor air quality from the fires, along with the generosity of the vendors, she was able to fill the van with 1,200 pounds of gluten-free food! Other volunteers, including one from Peninsula Food Runners, took three carloads of perishable food to two charities in Santa Clara. In Butte, a lot of the food was spoiling because there was not enough electricity for refrigeration.

Margaret and Alain drove to Oroville, CA and delivered the products to the Community Action Agency of Butte County (CAA). CAA runs the distribution center, North State Food Bank, which before the fire was serving 45,000 hungry residents a month at 52 community sites plus 48 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture food sites.

CAA pledged to create a stand-alone gluten-free and allergen friendly distribution site. In order to accomplish this, a great deal must be done. Margaret states, “We have to fill the kitchens, pantries and food bank with gluten-free and allergen friendly food because most donated food has gluten and common allergens in it.” 

At the moment, the only treatment for celiac disease is to eat a strict gluten-free diet. One in 133 Americans, or 1% of the population (3 million Americans), has celiac disease. It is estimated that 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions. Research also estimates that 18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity. All of these people need to be on a gluten-free diet. More facts can be found HERE.

This will be an ongoing effort, and again, Margaret knows how crucial it is to get food to these fire victims. “Finding gluten-free food to eat on a daily basis, is a one-meal-at-a-time effort, and that is not easy even without an emergency. The shortage of safe food for people on a medically restricted diet is critically serious in a disaster zone.”

We Won Best Home Organizer for 2018

We are proud and honored to announce our award as BEST HOME ORGANIZER 2018!! best home organizer, best home organizer marin, best home organizer marin county, best home organizer San Francisco, best home organizer Bay Area

Changing Places is thrilled to announce our 9th consecutive win as Best Home Organizer in the prestigious Pacific Sun poll. Thank you to our amazing team for making this possible!

Only 4.2% of all woman-owned firms earn revenues of
$1 million or more.  Special thanks to our fantastic
clients for your support throughout all these years.
We are bigger and better because of you!

 

Changing Places is a team of professional organizers orchestrating seamless moves whether simple or complicated. Our expert team of designers, architects and organizers implement personalized systems to help you run your home or office more efficiently – and most importantly,  keep it that way.

What we do:

  • Manage and coordinate every aspect of your move process
  • Skillfully organize any room in the house including offices, closets, attics, garages or basement areas
  • Create at least 25% more storage in even the smallest rooms
  • Increase your productivity with new office systems including shelving and furniture
  • Eliminate clutter permanently and give you the tools to maintain a stress free and orderly environment
  • Fluff and style, designer finishes, picture hanging, and shelf papering
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you!
Call 415-461-6257 or email info@changing-places.com today.
Best Home Organizer, Changing Places, Best Home Organizer Marin County, Best Home Organizer San Francisco, Best Home Organizer Bay Area
Dream Team

We’re Hiring! Account Executive/Project Manager

Account Executive/Project Manager

Changing Places is a woman-owned Marin company celebrating its 25th year in business. Our team of 30 is expanding to accommodate our exciting growth.

This is a career posting – not just a job posting.

Who We Are

We’re a team of professional home organizers who manage the complex process of high-end moves, in addition to renovate, and stage homes anywhere in the word. Our business is fast paced, high-touch, fun, and different every day. We offer a flexible yet hardworking environment.

We’re looking for a passionate, organized, well-rounded project expert who also likes selling, has exceptional communication skills and is the ultimate team player: able to multi-task with several ongoing projects at a time, all while maintaining a can-do attitude. The ideal candidate has run a department or small business. The nature of our business also requires complete discretion and diplomacy.

The Account Executive/Project Manager will support our projects in the field as well as our office operations.  We prefer candidates who reside in Marin County.

Required:

  • Creative content experience plus social media savvy and ability to interface with our marketing consultant on website content, email newsletters and blog
  • Proficiency with Mac products (iMac, iPhone, iPad, iPhoto) should currently use an iPhone
  • Proficient in MS Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Proficient with cloud based storage applications like Dropbox
  • Hospitality/service industry/event planning experience is a plus – we are a very customer service oriented
  • Must have own means of transportation to run office errands when necessary

Work Environment & Compensation
The position is 35-40 hours per week, and located in San Rafael. The Account Executive/Project Manager will report to the VP/General Manager and support the President/CEO. Salary range: $65,000-75,000 and commensurate with experience. 1 year commitment in this role is required. Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter along with salary requirements in response to this ad.  Send applications to Info@Changing-Places.com

Changing Places Turns 25!

Changing Places, Marin County, Bay Area, Professinal Organizers, Margaret Fearey Walsh
Margaret Fearey Walsh, President of Changing Places

 

I only have one 25th anniversary, so please indulge me as I tell a short story about realizing my American dream.

 In 1991, I arrived in Marin County from Philadelphia with a huge ego having run wildly successful businesses in the Catering & Special Events industry. I quickly realized it wasn’t WHAT I knew that mattered in California, but WHO I knew that made a difference in my new life.

I had only three friends when I arrived in California, and thanks to their warm and welcoming hospitality I got a start, cleaning houses. It took two tough, long years to get my footing: my new car blew up and I went bankrupt over a small amount of money. My morale and integrity were devastated.

Out of these ashes rose the phoenix that became “Rent A Wife”: I began doing housekeeping, catering and errands, and home organizing. In my first year I was “rented” by a great guy from GE Capital to help with his move from SF to NYC. I was honest and told the client I’d never done this before, but I had just moved myself here. The move project turned out to be very complicated, hugely challenging yet very fun and successful. Finally, I’d found something that I loved to do and turned that project into what became a promising new business.

“Rent-A-Wife” was going really well when a business coach told me in front of 350 people that the name of the company made me sound like “a lady of the night.” The group voted that I should change my company name. After much soul searching, I chose Changing-Places, Inc. Owning this business has rarely ever been easy and in 1996-97, during my first bout with breast cancer, I tried to sell the company. Thank heaven I didn’t find a buyer.

Today, I am very proud to say that my Changing Places team are my family. We have 25 “crew members” – some who have been here since the very early days. They serve Changing Places with many talents that far exceed my expertise. I owe all of those people, past and present, the glorious success that we are today. Also, Changing Places wouldn’t be where it is without our clients, realtors, vendors,partners, and friends who’ve supported us along our journey. I say it often: “we create miracles every day.”

Thank you all for being a part of my success and my story. God Bless America!

Changing Places, MARGARET FEAREY WALSH, Marin County, Home Organzing, Home Moving, Bay Area, Professional Organizers
Changing Places turns 25!!