How A Lotta Love Creates Safe Spaces in Homeless Shelters

How A Lotta Love Creates Safe Spaces in Homeless Shelters

A room featuring a window with bright floral curtains with large green leaves and bright pink flowers, a gray rug with blue, green, yellow, white and red polka dots, and a bunk bed where both the top and bottom bunk beds have been made up with red shams and duvets and pink, peach and white striped sheets and pillows. A brown crib, with a neutral dinosaur print folded over the side, is in the left foreground.
Just one of the many rooms that A Lotta Love has redecorated. This bedroom features donated Spoonflower duvets, sheet sets, Euro pillow shams, standard pillow shams and curtains.

What is Spoonflower Doing for Giving Tuesday?

This year for Giving Tuesday (November 29) 10% of Spoonflower’s gross receipts, up to $30,000, will be donated directly to A Lotta Love, a nonprofit helping individuals in homeless shelters and crisis centers find safety, joy and comfort in their immediate surroundings.  

According to founder Lotta Sjoelin, A Lotta Love’s mission is “to alleviate the trauma of homelessness by creating dignified, safe and emotionally inspiring spaces.” By turning bland beige institutional settings into rooms full of coordinating colors, new furnishings and a personal touch, A Lotta Love brings elements of home into places that need it most.  

Over the years, Spoonflower has volunteered with A Lotta Love and donated wallpaper and bedding. This GivingTuesday, we’re turning that support into a direct donation. When families leave spaces created by A Lotta Love, they get to keep everything except for the curtains, which are left for the next guests. The images in this post are from past volunteer sessions and feature Spoonflower products.

How Did A Lotta Love Get Started?

A Lotta Love was founded in 2014 when Lotta heard from a friend that a local domestic violence shelter needed pillows. Lotta, originally from Sweden, and whose life experience includes aid work in India, importing Scandinavian textiles and interior design, sprang into action. Upon seeing the near empty and bland space, Lotta quickly grabbed some furnishings and redid a room for four women staying at the shelter.  

While she was there, a woman sleeping in the room she was furnishing walked in and said “a year ago I had a great job, had my own apartment and my own car. Then I got sick and they ended up firing me. Three months later I was living in my car and now I’m here sharing this space with three older women who all snore. Thank you.” The two women then hugged, and Lotta says that “I kind of knew right there and then that this is what I’m supposed to spend my time doing.” 

Two images have been combined into one large image. In the left image, Nicole, our Social Media Manager, and Theresa, our Content & Creative Manager are sitting on a top bunk bed and by a bottom bunk bed respectively. They are looking at the camera and smiling. Folded colorful bedding has been placed behind Theresa on a small brown dresser. Nicole is making the top bunk and the sheet design features a pink, white and green design. In the right image, a bunk bed has been made with bright colorful bedding. The top bunk bed has been made with bedding featuring green, pink and multicolored mid-modern century prints. The bottom bunk bed has been made with bedding featuring yellow, blue and striped prints.
On the left, Nicole, our Social Media Manager, and Theresa, our Content & Creative Manager make beds at a homeless shelter while volunteering for A Lotta Love. On the right, the made-up beds furnished with donated Spoonflower bedding items.

A Lotta Love’s Mission

That first year, A Lotta Love finished 15 rooms at HomeStart, a 24-hour emergency shelter in Chapel Hill, plus a teen room. In the years since, they’ve worked with 24 organizations. In 2022, A Lotta Love has served 15 homeless and crisis centers, including 90-100 room makeovers/kits, several shared spaces and larger renovations, plus a full shelter renovation at the Durham Crisis Response Center. The organization now helps centers in various North Carolina locations, including Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham and Louisburg, and has plans to expand to other areas in the country. As each room makeover costs hundreds of dollars, the more money they have, the more good they can do.  

Lotta says “it’s that sense of, yes, we see you, we respect you, we believe in you. You can do this,” which has helped women, children and families through the years and the organization hopes to help many more.  

Two images have been combined into one large image. In the left image, a bunk bed featuring a top bunk that has been made with a colorful fish design on a navy background, a red duvet with white dots, and bright geometric pillows. The bottom bed features a duvet with a yellow and white geometric design with pillows featuring birds and bright mid-century modern stripes. The curtains to the back and left of the beds are white and cream striped. In the right image, wallpaper featuring a large design that says “LOVE ALWAYS” in all capital letters in bright jewel tone letters has been installed on a wall. Two small yellow children’s stools have been placed to the left and front of a small black table with brown sides with a train set on top.
A look at one of the many rooms redecorated by A Lotta Love. The beds on the left have been made with several donated Spoonflower bedding items.

Lotta believes in bringing color and joy into these spaces as a way of helping people feel seen in a way that fosters safety, dignity and respect. Lotta says “it’s that sense of, yes, we see you, we respect you, we believe in you. You can do this,” which has helped women, children and families through the years and the organization hopes to help many more.  

A Lotta Love’s work to provide comfort and dignity to those in need has been the subject of recent academic research by their founding board members, psychologists Mira Brancu and Tina LePage and team, which proved that providing spaces where people feel seen, respected and know they are cared for has a deep impact in also helping them feel psychologically safe.  

Through your purchase from Spoonflower on November 29, 2022, you can help A Lotta Love’s mission too.  

Details: Spoonflower is proud to support A Lotta Love on Giving Tuesday. Spoonflower will donate 10% of its gross receipts from all sales made on its website between 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM EST on November 29, 2022. Donation agreement does not apply to purchases of gift cards or prior purchases. Spoonflower has committed to a minimum donation of $10,000, and the maximum amount donated will be $30,000. For more information about A Lotta Love, visit its website at alottalove.org 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is “a global generosity movement” that began in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City. It ”encourages people to do good” every Tuesday, but in 2022, Giving Tuesday will be celebrated November 29. Learn more at givingtuesday.org.
What percent of Spoonflower’s gross receipts of all sales will go to A Lotta Love for Giving Tuesday 2022?
10% of Spoonflower’s gross receipts on Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2022, will be donated to A Lotta Love, up to $30,000.
Who does A Lotta Love help? 
A Lotta Love in the words of founder Lotta Sjoelin, “alleviate[s] the trauma of homelessness by creating dignified, safe and emotionally inspiring spaces” by creating safe, comforting rooms in homeless shelters and crisis centers. 

Wanting to support A Lotta Love on November 29 by purchasing holiday decor?

We got you! Through your purchase from Spoonflower on November 29, 2022, you can help A Lotta Love’s mission. See home decor items by theme, including Retro Ski Lodge, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Vintage Christmas designs and more!
Visit the Holiday Shop

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