As we crest into the Holiday Season in this year that has been 2020, there are a few personal thoughts I’d like to share.
I’m going to skip the introductory metaphor that would even attempt to describe this year — we’ve all lived it. It’s been beyond words or anything previously imagined. Kobe and Gianna passed in February, breaking my heart, and it’s been a litany of personal, cultural, and environmental challenges since. We’ve all lived it — and we are all continuing to live it.
I’ve had my moments of personal electrification this year — as a CEO, as a father, as a husband, and as a leader of a beautiful company and small business that depends on me for its key decision making and for putting a future in place for the professionals, creative artists, and craftsman that comprise it and their families.
We’ve come out stronger, strengthened, and more certain of our values, creative artistry, and sense of who we are.
I could lament the misfortunes of this year — for sure. The hits have definitely been there — there’s no escaping this truth.
But I’d rather take this moment to extend an extremely heartfelt thank you and expression of gratitude to the people of Boston that make this city what it is. The workers on the front lines, the doctors, nurses, emergency room workers, hospital workers, teachers, social workers, policemen and women, mothers, humanitarians, and seemingly endless supply of people of good will.
Boston is in my heart and I truly love this city.
Early on here at NEDC we decided to take the initiative and start helping as many families as we could — that was a simple stable and self-created truth for us as a group. Focus outward and help as many people as we possibly can.
On the educational front we waxed creative and through our research found the absolutely amazing James Dyson Foundation. We fell in love with their educational design build kits for children, as these align exceptionally with our own core values here at NEDC. The ethos of the Master Builder (one who can both plan and do) is woven into our process and team values. We purchased the additional items and materials needed for each family, and our staff packaged these into individual educational kits that could be delivered to a household with children and left safely at a distance outside the front door. We began delivering these to clients with children and really anyone who expressed interest and felt it would benefit them. The joy was tangible and the feedback and videos from parents was heartwarming.
It was a start. But even under this invisible onslaught we could feel the city come together.
Meanwhile, Samantha Shih, the talented founder and CEO of 9Tailors (9Tailors: Confidence Suits Me) pivoted gracefully and with her team of artisan tailors began designing and making custom masks to protect the vulnerable — this was before mask production was a thing. As the world scrambled for a proper and adequate supply of masks, Samantha began to act and reached out to us for help. We pitched in financially to help make this happen and together we delivered and donated them to a home of vulnerable elderly.
A client of ours is a Doctor at Mass General Hospital. She has a husband and three small children and was working in the hospital as COVID-19 began to hit Boston. We could only begin to imagine the multiple layers of stress she was personally navigating and felt we had to do something to help. Our creative team designed a unique ‘sanitization station’ — in essence a dedicated shower that we installed directly inside the basement entrance of her home, walling it off with protective sheeting. It became a dedicated and sanitary entrance point where she could enter her home, shower immediately, and then be free to safely see her family. This became a buffer between her day job of combating COVID-19 and saving lives and a home environment with her loved ones.
We would gladly do our best to help any healthcare worker in Boston in a similar situation — this offer still stands.
As life continued and cultural tensions erupted, we saw on the news that on top of the tumult that had become normal life at this point, two local businesses had been senselessly damaged. We thought we could be of service and reached out to donate our time, labor, and materials to help get Urban Grape and Dartmouth Vision back on their feet. I met the business owners and people behind these small businesses and they are truly beautiful, kind, creative, and wonderful people. TJ, Hadley, and Dr. Sabree are the kind of genuine, creative people of good will that give Boston its soul. I recommend you support them — they are top class and you won’t be disappointed.
I built New England Design and Construction from scratch 15 years ago with a vision to unite a fragmented industry that I felt had nearly lost sight of its inherent power, beauty, and aesthetic simplicity. We’ve grown from myself and another to a team of twenty — architects, designers, artists, craftsmen, and builders. These are beautiful, talented, caring individuals — united in a reality that we can uplift and change people’s lives for the better while restoring dignity to a fractured industry as old as mankind itself.
To Boston and its people — we love you and we are here for you.
If we can help in any way, please reach out. The people of Boston stand by each other — and have for generations. In normal circumstances I would say our doors are always open. In these times — my phone is always on.
If we can help — we will.
David and team