Category Archives: Pay It Forward

‘Tis The Season….to Pay It Forward. With Cookies!

We need to pay it forward throughout the year but there is something about the Holidays with people hurting, no families, no money for gifts for the kids, health issues and so on, that should propel us to help others. Maybe it is because we can look at what we have and know how blessed we are.

I think the best way to Pay It Forward is by using your gifts and what you enjoy doing to bless others. For instance I love to bake. So about 15 years ago I started baking plates of cookies for those that are shut-in. My church goes Christmas caroling to folks in their nursing home rooms, homes or apartments and after caroling they give them a plate of home made cookies.

That’s where I come in! One day a year I put on my Chef apparel and hit the flour and sugar and have at it.




 I love to try at least a few new recipes each year but of course there are always the old standbys that you just have to make like Spritz, Ginger Cookies, Fudge, Caramels and the ever popular Peanut Blossoms!!

20 – 25 hours later (yes I bake on a couple other days as well) the plates are assembled and delivered to the church.






Oh….and of course there are the dishes which isn’t my gifting at all! ūüôā¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† DSCN1060


So what do you enjoying doing? How can you turn that into a blessing to others? Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army as you sing a Christmas Carol or just reaching out with a smile? Assisting at parties for those less fortunate, helping at a Day Care or School?

So many ways to Pay It Forward and there is a lot of time left to do it!



Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN.
CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer


What Does Sex Trafficking and Home Staging Have In Common?

What Does Sex Trafficking and Home Staging Have in Common?

That isn’t a question just to get you wondering what this post is about. This post really is about sex trafficking and¬†Home Staging.

They have a lot in common. Really.

Even more so, it has to do with using your God given talents to help others. I use mine to help women coming off the streets that have been caught in the horrific sex trafficking trade.

My latest was to volunteer my time to a Non-profit organization that provides apartments to women that were able to escape this horrible situation. This apartment was to be for a young 18 year old girl who had given birth 3 months prior while she was just 17.

These are¬†not luxury apartments, they are¬†not in nice apartment buildings and they are¬†not in a great area of town. They are places that most of us wouldn’t want to enter.

But to them it is a palace.

This is pretty common what I see when I enter. One room…it is the kitchen, the bedroom, the dining room and the living room. But hey….I am a¬†Home¬†Stager. I see potential! Ha.


One room apartment



The bathrooms are usually disgusting.




These women coming off the streets have nothing. And I mean nothing. It takes very little to help.

Let’s create a dining room shall we?? A donated table and some cafe chairs from a flea market painted a fun color.


Dining Area


Dishes from the dollar store, artwork from ,my warehouse and a Dining Room fit for a Queen.


Dining Room


The only thing I make sure of is that the mattress, box spring and bedding is brand spanking new.




The bed has not been a safe place for them and now I want it to be a place of total comfort and peace.





A little touch of chocolates on the bed and fresh flowers on the dresser to make them smile.




A donated bedroom set and a chair and that really is all there is room for but it is so much more than she has had. Really….she has nothing.


Living Room


Donated kettles in the cabinets, a few groceries to get her started.



A new shower curtain and towels from Kmart.




……….and now there is a home for a girl and her baby.


Do you agree? Does Sex Trafficking and Home Staging have a lot in common?

What are your talents that you can share with someone?


Good with numbers? Help a new widow reconcile a checkbook for the first time.

Good with organization? Help a single Mom organize her child’s toys.

Good with paperwork? Help an elderly person fill out medicare or social security forms.


***Interested in how and why I started donating my time? Check out my original post¬†“Do You Have A Dream? Let Me Tell You a Story”







Our Baby Elephant Died….I am So Sad.

Our Baby Elephant Died….I am so Sad.

About three weeks ago we chose to foster a baby elephant. His name was Rukinga and was rescued when he was about three weeks old.

When he was found, there was no evidence of any wild elephants remaining in the area, and he had obviously been alone for some time as his ears were becoming tender and sun burnt.

The scouts monitored him for a further three hours to be sure that his herd or mother was not going to return. In this time it was evident the calf was desperate for company, joining a herd of cattle that had come in to water.

He was only a few weeks old with the dried remnants of his umbilical cord still showing on his underside. Given the increase in poaching in this area it is possible his mother was poached as elephants rarely leave their young.


Rukinga being transported to the refuge:


Loading the orphan in the rescue plane


Rukinga’s flight to the Nursery:


Sammy in the plane with the orphan


Rukinga receiving some nourishment:


Rukinga drinking his milk


We were notified today that Rukinga had died during the teething process which is a very difficult time for baby elephants in captivity.

Baby elephants cut their molars between the age of 1 – 4 months and have an easy process of it in the wild but not so in captivity. They don’t know why but they are very susceptible to infection during this process in captivity. The milk formula received in captivity in place of their mother’s milk may be a key.


After telling us the measures that were taken to save Rukinga, the email ended like this:


“And so, the earthly remains of precious baby Rukinga, who died at dusk amidst the tears of his adopted human family, breathed his last as darkness took hold. He was deeply loved and is deeply mourned, not only by us but by all his foster parents who supported and loved him in life and so wanted him to live.

But, it was not to be. He now rests in peace alongside many others who have not made it, within the tranquility of the quiet forest environment of Nairobi National Park. We are sure that his spirit will now be reunited with that of his beautiful Elephant Mother. Somewhere in the Great Somewhere because even here on earth he was so very angelic. Following grief, the page has to be turned, for there will be many others in need of help and care, and we all have to be there for them as well. ”

We will be fostering another baby elephant soon and will keep you posted. If you are interested in the Fostering Program for Orphaned Elephants please check out:

The David Shelrick Wildlife Trust