The Shotwell Family

Sometimes, you have a strong feeling that pushes you to do something big and you aren’t 100% sure why. You think that you know why – you hope that you know why – admit it, it’s nice to know why — but sometimes, you just have to trust your gut and go with it, believing that God will show you the reason when it is time.

My business brings me to the closet of my clients. Many times, they own clothes that are in great condition – but they are not the right fit/color for the client. I have always known that there are always people in need, and I have finally been able to set up the “donation” part of my business to truly use my services for the good of everyone. (Remember my We’ve Been There post?)

Here are two photos of clothes being sorted by size in my garage (notice the awesome cords holding the rods!!)

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Uncle Bob’s Self Storage has generously donated a climate controlled storage unit for the “donation” services of Transformations By Maria (and a truck, to help me move the items!!), and last weekend, we began customizing the space to get ready for everything that has been pouring in from clients.

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Little did I know that I would have an opportunity so soon to help an entire family.

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This past Friday evening, January 25th, a benefit was held to help the Shotwell family, who lost everything in a house fire in the very early morning hours (estimated around 1 a.m.) on January 14th.




This precious flyer was made by the Shotwell’s 11 year old nephew:


Riyad Abu Taha, a man I have known for over 20 years, organized the benefit, which was held at Skewer’s Mediterranean Grill. Skewer’s was kind enough to donate 20% of all food sales to the Shotwell family, and the Austin Fire Department donated $1,000 to the family. Amira Tanya performed her belly dancing talents (She teaches classes and I got her card – watch out!) and it very quickly turned into a celebration acknowledging that the entire Shotwell family got out of the house in time (Sadly, two of their three dogs did not make it).

Here are a few photos from the night:


Riyad presenting Van Shotwell with donations.


Van Shotwell came to our table and visited with me, my husband, daughter, and “2nd daughter”

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On Saturday, Van posted on her Facebook:

I was super worn out last night from hanging out with my family and friends (who are also my family) at Skewers.

Riyad Abu-Taha was fantabulous with how quickly he put this event together and gave The Shotwells a night to remember. Thank you Riyad!

Hadi (not sure of the spelling), the owner of Skewers, was so gracious and kind to allow us to take over the restaurant. The food was delicious. Thank you Hadi!

The vibrations from the restaurant was filled with excitement, support, understanding, peace, hope and love.

I saw friends from high school, friends from my very first job when I was 15, and friends from the film (entertainment) industry. I made new friends and I was able to hug my “support sisters”.

I feel so loved! Thank you to everyone who was able to be there and thank you to those who were with us in spirit. I love and appreciate you all. I don’t know how to express my love and appreciation any more than saying thank you, but thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough.

I ask for multitude of blessings to be bestowed to each and every one of you.

From my heart to yours,

The Shotwells are in the process of rebuilding and are trying to get their identity back before they can proceed.

If you would like to make a donation, please let me know – or you can mail it to:

P.O. Box 2922

Alvin, TX 77512-2922

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