We stagers have an interesting job. We create beautiful rooms, but no one is going to live in them. If we have done our jobs successfully, the sellers will pack up our work, or in the case of vacant homes, we will pack up our work. Our photos are often all we have.
I was fortunate enough to hear about an opportunity that would change all that. The organization, Volunteers of America, is always looking for companies or individuals interested in remodeling one or more rooms in the local women's shelter. My friend, Nancy Ewing, and I decided to adopt a room.
On our initial tour of the shelter, I was so amazed at the level of activity all around us. The people who work there have hearts of gold, and their positive energy is contagious. We were taken on a tour, and shown two possible candidates for our room makeover. The one we chose had not received an update since 2004. There's no other way to describe it--this was a sad little room. One twin bed, one small table, a built-in table that wasn't much more than a ledge, and one dresser. No closet, as some of the other rooms had, so clothes were hung on a metal rack on wheels. Long and narrow, the room at least had a nice tall window at one end. The walls were a very pale yellowish green, and the only window treatment was a tiny valance hung over white blinds. We picked a date for the makeover, and we were allowed eight hours to complete the transformation. Here is the before and after:
Paint donated by Kwal, bedding and window sheers purchased at Target, art donated by Nancy, and a new lamp shade purchased at WalMart came together to create a room that I believe can best be described as sweet. We also purchased and put together a wardrobe/storage unit, with removable storage bins, and a fabric cover.
As stagers, we are used to "the big reveal," but none of them compared to the praise and adoration we received from the staff and tenants. Something that was so easy for Nancy and I to do, because we do it all the time, seemed almost like a miracle to these women. Many of the women begged us to do their rooms next, and Nancy and I decided we would definitely go back and do another room.
I encourage you to find similar opportunities in your town. There is always a need for the skills we possess, and plenty of people in unfortunate circumstances, who want and deserve something "sweet" in their lives.