Tag Archives: Pay It Forward

Do You Have a Dream for the Future? Let Me Tell You a Story…..

Do you have a dream for the future? Let me tell you a story…..

My story starts last October when I was asked to “write down 50 things you would do if nothing could stop you” as part of a Home Stager Trainer’s Class. So that night I gave it serious thought…..

If nothing could stop me, if I had no barriers what would I do??? Hhmmmmmm…

#1 On My List: To start a Non-Profit that would decorate homes or spaces for women who were coming off the streets and out of abusive situations.

As Nate Berkus says “Your home should rise up to meet you”.

I believe that is for everyone…no matter what your situation or where your “home” is. Home could be a women’s shelter where you feel safe for the first time in years, a subsidized housing project that is all your own, or one room in an apartment shared by others in your situation. So, I wrote it down.

“I want to start a Non-Profit to bless women coming into perhaps their first safe clean living space ever.”

I had visions of what I would do with it when I retired. Receive donations, refurbish a worn out table by painting it a fun color, bringing new life to an old chair with fun fabric, have a list of volunteers to assist me. I could visualize it in the future.

So….guess what I did Thursday??

I decorated a three bedroom apartment for three women coming off of the streets from sex trafficking and prostitution.

Did you hear that?? Thursday. And I haven’t retire yet!

I won’t go into the details but this happened quickly. Someone at my local church knew what I did for a living, called me and asked if I would be willing to get involved. I called the charity and was told the women were moving in Friday and they needed help “pulling it together”.

I went down there Wednesday morning and a large local furniture store was just pulling away from donating BRAND NEW FURNITURE!!!!

But, there were no ‘girly things’. I went to my warehouse, picked out lamps, artwork, and girly things that I could donate.

Oh….I forgot the best part. When I told my sister what I was doing she came back to me a bit later with this:

For these women the bed has never been a safe place. They need to know it is now safe and they need to be blessed with some nice new linens, not used.”. I must mention my sister is a psychologist and volunteers with women who have been sexually abused or part of sex trafficking.

So…off to Target I went to buy new bedding that she was going to donate. New sheets, new comforters, a fuzzy blankets for cuddling. All coordinated with their room’s paint color of course. Any good designer would have the paint deck samples with her. LOL.

I realized I needed help and needed to rearrange my schedule to meet the time commitment. With a one day notice I was back decorating the space with a wonderful woman named Sandy.

We worked for six hours cleaning, arranging furniture, making beds, hanging artwork. Boy were were exhausted but oh so blessed.

We left each woman with a brand new towel and wash cloth along with a box of chocolates and fresh flowers.

I think these women will have their home “rise up to meet them” when they walk in.

What do you think?

Bedroom 1: The taupe room


Taupe Bedroom


Taupe Bed


Taupe Up Close


Bedroom 2: The lavendar room


Purple Bedroom


Purple Bed



Purple Up Close



Bedroom 3: The blue room


Blue Bedroom


Blue Bed


Blue Up Close


The common living room and dining area:


Living Area


Living Area


The Hallway Garden:


Wall of Flowers


So….do you have a dream for the future? God may have something in mind sooner.

I don’t have my own Non-Profit yet to help numerous organizations assisting woman but hey….this is a start and it happened quicker than I thought.

What’s your dream?

If You Love Doing It, Pass it On!

What do you love to do? Can you do what you love and bless others at the same time?

I love to read, knit and bake. I take the love of knitting and make prayer shawls for those in the hospitals, nursing homes or just someone needing a pick me up gift.

I take my love of baking and turn it into a blessing for others during the holiday season by providing plates of cookies during Christmas Caroling to those that are shut-in. After being sung to, each person is handed a plate of homemade cookies.

Let’s follow my day recently:

Bright and early in the morning with my pastry chef outfit and my cup of coffee, I am ready to go with my very clean kitchen island and heavy duty mixer. (don’t I look just like Vanna White??).


BakingBaking Day


A couple hours later…..look what my friend Patty has done to my clean kitchen!! ūüėČ


Baking Day


When I started doing this about ten years ago I was asked for about 8 Р10 plates of cookies. Then it was 12- 15, etc.  This year was the biggest need ever with many elderly men losing their wives and many very sick people. I was asked for 30 plates of cookies so 30 it was.

Assembly day looked something like this:


Baking Day


We made about 18 different things and every year I just have to try a few new recipes. Last year it was ‘Sea Salt and Pink Peppercorn Caramels’. This year it was ‘Spicy Peanut Brittle’ and ‘Christmas Mice’.

Can you fine my little Christmas Church Mouse peeking out on the plate? Complete with ears and a tail?


Baking Day


Oh….and of course the empty Tupperware containers after the assembly process was quite the sight!!


Baking Day

So what do you love to do? Can you bless others with it? How about making that a goal for 2012??

Wishing you a very blessed Christmas Season and a wonderful 2012!







Another Year and The Cookies Are Delivered!! A Way to – Pay It Forward

I love, love, love to bake. But my thighs need none of it so I give it away. Every year I deliver approximately 20 plates of cookies wrapped in bows to my church when they go caroling to the shut-ins. They are able to leave them with a little homemade gift since many cannot bake for themselves anymore.

It’s one of my favorite volunteering projects of the year!

I do make a mess when I bake. And it is quite the production, usually two twelve hour days.










I forgot  to take a picture of the pretty finished plates with bows but you get the idea! I hope they stay warm caroling, below zero wind chill in MN today.

Moral of the story…….do what you love and give it away to those that can’t.