24 Oct 2017

Giving Back – LDD and the Hurricane Relief in SWFL

October 24, 2017News

Lisa Davenport, designer and Principal of Lisa Davenport Designs (LDD), along with Joe, her husband/business partner recently returned from assisting with the hurricane relief effort in southwest Florida. Their mission not only was to deliver a trailer full of much needed donations collected by Doug and Teri Walsh of Rocky Hill, CT and mother and daughter team, Alisa and Julia Grossman, from Voorhees High School in Glen Gardner, NJ, but also to lend their talents and knowledge to the residents of Everglade City, FL during the early stages of clean up and recovery.

Working closely with Suzanne Novak, co-founder of FireLily Foundation, Lisa and Joe met fellow small business owner, David Harraden of Ivey House.  David’s losses included guest houses, property damage, and his entire tool and maintenance shed.  Joe, worked with David to understand his immediate tool supply needs.  From there, through her connections in southwest Florida, Lisa collected donations of gently used power tools, an enormous challenge since all of Collier County was still in the grips of their own recovery modes.  Scott Kish, of KTS Group in Naples, FL, graciously donated a large portion of these tools, affording Joe the opportunity to stretch the funds donated by LDD and raised by FireLily to purchase some remaining tools and more for Ivey House.

IMG_2621Joe, a master carpenter, coupled with his and Lisa’s years of missionary work in Eastern Kentucky made them each an asset to the needs of Everglade City. Eighty percent of Everglade City residents and businesses were flooded, with many homes suffering not only water damage but also swept off their foundations.  Karen Cochran, the Volunteer Coordinator and City Task Manager assigned Joe and Lisa to a special project.  For days they removed mold infested paneling and wallboard from the home of Vicki, a 30 year Everglade City resident. A widow, who has just ridden out her first hurricane without her husband by her side, was so grateful for the extra hands!

IMG_2647When asked why they made the 26-hour drive from Connecticut to lend a hand to those in need, Lisa responded, “I expanded LDD into southwest Florida 18 months ago.  The whole community welcomed me with open arms and quickly made me their own.  When it appeared I might be caught in the cross-hairs of Irma, I was truly amazed by the number of calls, texts, and even Facebook messages from residents offering me safe places to stay if I couldn’t return to Connecticut.  Some of these folks had only known me for a month or so.  While I did, thankfully, make it out, the outpouring of those kind, selfless, and generous people will never be forgotten.  So, when we saw this devastation and knew we had the resources, experience, and talent to help, well…how could we not?”

She continued with, “We live in an amazing country…the best in the world.  This is what Americans do, we take care of each other.  The residents of Everglade City and other areas hit by the recent natural disasters are feeling unrest and uncertainty.  I hope that simple little actions, like what all these volunteers are doing, can bring comfort and hope to those in need.  It certainly makes me proud to be an American!”

Lisa Davenport Designs, LLC is a high-end interior design firm serving the East Coast.  They are headquartered in Durham, CT with a division in Naples, FL.  Visit lisadavenportdesigns.com for more information.

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