Gould Evans is celebrating its 40th anniversary, but instead of spending money on a big party, the firm decided to do a few Acts of Kindness.
"As we were approaching 40 years in our communities we were kind of brain storming what to do to honor our communities," said Whitney Lang, architect at Gould Evans.
The answer: give back.
"We've all decided to take the money that we would have put into a party and invest it all in our communities and do something special," said John Wilkins, principal architect at Gould Evans.
To celebrate its 40th Anniversary Gould Evans partnered with United Way, Family Promise, Willow Domestic Violence Center, and the Lawrence Community Shelter to hold a day of fun and learning for children in need in Lawrence.
"We're trying to show them today what it's like to be an architect and how to build something," said Wilkins.
"It started out as just a project to build these little free libraries that I think a lot of people have started to see pop up in their communities. The whole idea is to take a book, leave a book," said Lang.
The idea evolved and became much more. Children were shown the start-to-finish process of designing a building like the Lawrence Public Library, then toured the library. They built their own "buildings" out of paper and other materials, then painted, cut and nailed together a pocket library. The neighborhood library built at the Lawrence office will be put up at Family Promise for all to use.
"I'm having a blast. It's pretty fun said," Alex Quniteros, a participant.
10-year-old Alex Quinteros said he wants to be an architect when he grows up. He said there's only one way he can describe getting work alongside the Gould Evans professionals.
"It's a huge honor," said Quinteros.
Gould Evans has six offices across the country. All participated in some sort of Acts of Kindness this weekend to give back to their communities.
"There's a population in all communities that don't have the same kind of support that we may have gotten as kids and it's the kids that are the future of our country and society so it's just really important for these kids to have mentors and be exposed to things that they normally wouldn't be exposed to," said David Evans, Founding Partner of Gould Evans.