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  • jackiedweatherly

Rewarded by Giving

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

2020 a year that most would like to forget! Though it brought many trials and tragedies there were also so many blessings that came out of that dark season. It hit my business pretty hard.

I can still remember sitting in my storage area looking at all of my staging inventory feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. I opened my hands and whispered a prayer with a simple, "I surrender all" I may have even sung the song too, real loud if truth be told.

That very next day I received a phone call from the director of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. She proceeded to tell me that they were opening a brand new apartment complex for homeless Veterans. She asked if I would be willing to stage a couple of apartments, the commons area, the library, the computer lab, laundry room, and an office for a video that they were putting together for their donors.

I instantly knew that not only did I want to do this, but that I also wanted to donate everything that I used for staging the facility. She asked, "you mean just leave everything there, forever?" I laughed and responded with, "yes everything" and I immediately felt a heavy burden lifting from me. I hung up the phone and felt a flood of emotions, my eyes started to leak as I reflected on all of the income that each piece of inventory had generated over a 10 year period to my business. I felt so much gratitude for the opportunity of living in a country where I have the freedom of owning my own business. I was reminded of the quote, "land of the free, because of the brave" (which btw, we hung in the laundry area) and now here I was able to giveback in small way to some of those very men that sacrificed their lives to serve this great country.

With only one week to pull everything off I went to work curating each area. And since this was not your normal staging there was a lot to take into consideration. Many of the Veterans suffered from PTSD therefor furniture could not be positioned in a way that they felt threatened from behind. Then I had to design for accessibilty (ADA), not to mention the fact that these Veterans were not use to sleeping indoors. I had to carefully arrange each area taking all of this into consideration including what colors I chose, since color has a tendency to evoke emotion, which could trigger unpleasant emotions.

The actual staging day was full of excitement my team of three managed to pull it all together in 3 hours. Each piece of furniture, art, blankets, pillows, and accessories were thoughtfully placed. We laid pillows out on the floor to help them adjust to this new way of life. We made sure to honor the Veterans by hanging special armed forces signs.

To say that we were all honored and humbled by this amazing experience would be an understatement.

When I look back at that moment in time when I was at my lowest and feeling hopeless, I was reminded to look to the highest. God was there waiting for me to release it all, and trust Him with the outcome.

I can honestly say that the rewards far outweighed the giving. Here I am one year later with a new business structure. I am still staging using the homeowners existing furniture in their home ( occupied staging ), staging and styling consultations will always be my passion. I've added remodels and custom new builds to my list of services. And I am continuing my education in the design industry. It is amazing just how much one can grow if they are willing to let go!!! Stay tuned for my next blog...

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