Some people are unforgettable for many different reasons. Some have a radiant smile that just makes you feel better about the day. Others have a gentle, laidback attitude and a listening ear. Still others shine with the love and care that they feel for their fellow man.
And then there are some people who are all of those things. One of those people is Lisa Parks Boyden.
Lisa has been a pet sitter for many years, quite often working alongside her mother, Kris Boyden, from the Lilly Pulitzer store. She’s a Jack-of-all-Trades kind of girl, so you never know where she will pop up. Knowing Kris, it’s easy to see where her good qualities come from.
Lisa has been selling apparel items that she designed to raise funds for two organizations that made a world of difference to many people in this area after the hurricane – Samaritan’s Purse and World Central Kitchen.
The platform she is using is called Bonfire, and her designer page name is “Stronger Than the Storm.” She not only has Boca Grande shirts, but also Laurel, Nokomis, Rotonda, Englewood, Venice and more.
Going from her every day work to creating apparel sounds daunting, but of Lisa handles it with aplomb. Her focus isn’t creating fashion; it’s about helping people.
“It was actually really easy, the website made it super simple and I just used one of my photos from after Irma,” she said. “I had gone for a walk to clean up some of the beach trash that washed up and didn’t realize that storm was sneaking up behind me until I turned around.”
Her interest in WCK is two-fold, as she has a personal connection with the organization. Her partner, Jenn DeMarco, has a son who went to Harvard with the founder of WCK.
“For that reason, and just seeing how all of these people came together to feed us, always with a smile, it was such a morale boost,” Lisa said. “It was the first hot meal we had in three days.”
Upon hearing about the hurricane hitting our area, Jenn’s brother, his girlfriend and her son jumped in a car and drove straight through from Massachusetts and volunteered with Samaritan’s purse.
“They camped out in our living room. They busted their butts all day: Jenn picking up food from WCK and distributing it to some hard hit communities, the other three working with Samaritan’s Purse, all while I was at work. In the afternoons they were cooking boxes of chicken wings to feed the neighbors on our street. It was just beautiful how everyone came together to help others.”
Sometimes, just watching the experts in action, like the chefs and volunteers who work at WCK, spurs others to make good things happen as well. When you get a meal from WCK it is prepared by a bona fide chef and comes with sides, fruit and dessert. No matter how many people you need to take food home to, they are able to accomodate and happy to do so.
And it is delicious. Every. Single. Time.
Lisa said she found her niche when she created the shirts and launched her site to help WCK and Samaritan’s Purse. A portion of the proceeds from each shirt sold goes to those who help neighborhoods like ours pick up the pieces after a natural disaster.
“World Central Kitchen was incredible,” Lisa said. “The first three days after the hurricane passed, I figured that I would lose a decent amount of weight, but I actually think I gained weight because of them.”
Go to bonfire.com/store/stronger-than-the-storm/ to order shirts or to read about Lisa’s products. You can read more about WCK at wck.org, and you can find the Samaritan’s Purse website at samaritanspurse.org.