For Shanon Paar of the Red Mountain Stake’s Adobe Villa Ward in Mesa, paying forward the many acts of kindness she’s received is the only way she can imagine living. Her childhood had “an absence of light,” she says, growing up in an environment of drug abuse and sexual trafficking. She spent a season of her life in foster care and emergency shelters.
“And I’m no stranger to the homeless mindset,” she says, having twice lost everything she had, even after becoming successful in her real estate career.
In 2009, she struggled with thyroid storm. Because of that, she temporarily suffered as a vulnerable adult, unable to care for herself and three-year-old child.
“One day, I got on my knees and said, ‘Help me, help me, help me’ about 50 times,” she recalls. Within a month of that humble prayer, her thyroid miraculously returned to normal.
“Something changed, and I started living for my son,” she says. She returned to reading her Bible after years of it sitting unopened, but with more intent, leading her to a personal relationship with the Savior.
A long-standing client of Paar’s who always spoke to her potential opened his home to her and her son. That home was a wonderful example of an LDS family.
“You are who you choose to be,” she declares. In 2011, she joined the church. It gave her “a toolbox upgrade,” meaning a more profound understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and greater ability to cope with daily obstacles. With much gratitude, she met and was served by other LDS families numerous times.
In 2012, she started Shanon’s Paying It Forward Innovations, also known as SPIFI, a non-profit charity organization whose motto is “Helping people help people.”
She organizes several fundraisers per year, such as an annual turkey trot and Easter time event, which help the homeless, foster children and other charities in her community. Each event holds a “kidpreneur challenge.” Paar provides the opportunity for children to learn entrepreneurialism because, as she says, “This country was built by entrepreneurs and free enterprise.”
Paar is a vibrant, optimistic soul who longs to see others receive whatever they need to thrive. She now refuses to let any challenge keep her from participating in the Lord’s loving work of caring for His children, and nothing can shake her trust in Him. “The mercy of God is a fresh rose every day,” she says.
Her next kidpreneur event will be on Saturday, April 15th, from 9:00 a.m. until noon at Mesa’s Rockin’ R Ranch, where a local flea market will be taking place. The public is invited to come find Paar’s booth and purchase items made by children, who will volunteer a portion of their proceeds to help children in need. If possible, bring a backpack to donate to Helen’s Hope Chest or toiletries for A New Leaf.
Please find her projects posted on www.justserve.org by typing in zip code 85205. For future kidpreneur events or Eagle Scout projects, contact Sister Paar at 602-488-1117.