In Their Words
“When our daughter was young, there were too many times she suffered from an unexplainable illness. You can imagine the anguish and worry parents suffer when a child is sick and medical professionals are unable to tell you why. But over time, we discovered our daughter was a chemically sensitive child, sensitive to the chemicals embedded even in the very building materials we used for our livelihood. Combine our desire to find materials that were “healthy” and our passion for environmentally friendly “green” products, we set out on a mission to find them. Over the course of many years, we dedicated ourselves to finding healthy, sustainable materials for our daughter, and the planet.
In 2008 Common Ground Green was a promising business built on the principles they established to grow. They called it their “triple bottom line”, meaning everything the sold and do must be for:
Our clients, their families, their homes. Healthy!
The Planet. All of our materials are born from of the Common Ground Green promise. We only sell and install certified sustainable materials that meet or exceed our uncompromising standards of kindness to the planet and the health of our clients.
Profit, a direct reflection on the Triangle community embracing our company.”
We were all invited and the store flourished for almost nine years.
Last winter, Dawn was stricken with a life threatening and altering stroke.
Common Ground Green’s continued growth and expansion depended upon careful and strategic planning, as well as meticulous management of day-to-day operations. Dawn was hospitalized for almost 2 months. To date, she still requires a care taker and Paul has been by her side. Small businesses are financially vulnerable to disasters like this, and their absence had a catastrophic impact on the delicate balance that is required as small businesses grows.
In the coming days, Paul and Dawn will have to close Common Ground Green Building Center and try to establish a viable source of income through other means. As it stands, they do not have the resources to support themselves, continue the medical treatments that are essential to Dawn’s recovery or pay the legal fees associated with the closure of Common Ground.
I, soon to be Paul and Dawn’s former employee, am reaching out to you because Paul and Dawn are not in the habit of asking for help. They are the kind of people that help others in need. I know this to be true because Paul and Dawn changed my life when they hired me, flaws and all. I have medical issues that for many years kept me locked in a cycle of debilitating pain and depression. These issues still color my life, but that relentless circle has expanded and now includes a sense of purpose and hope. Their dedication to our community wasn’t just limited to me. Everything from the store’s locally sourced tee shirts to sponsoring the first urban bee hive in the area is testament to their commitment.
Paul and Dawn are the quintessence of the green movement and everyone’s whose life they touched, from their daughter to clients- from employees to installers can literally breathe easier as a result of their efforts.
Please consider donating whatever you can to help them through this trying time. With our help they will overcome this obstacle and resume their endeavors to serve the greater good.
Thank you all for your support as Dawn and Paul continue to heal.
Since 2007, Paul Toma and Dawn Hintgen have owned and operated Common Ground Green located in the Durham Central Park area of Downtown Durham, NC. They are highly sought-after experts on designing and installing Kitchens Designs, Flooring and Tile using products that are tried, tested and actually environmentally friendly. Paul is a green building specialist working in all phases of carpentry, and Dawn is a National Kitchen and Bath Association trained professional.
Help spread the word!