I’m Jaime Bassett, the President of the Savvy Giving By Design, Philadelphia, PA chapter. I am also the owner and principle designer at FD Design, a design build firm in Emmaus, PA.
What is Savvy Giving by Design?
In short…Savvy Giving by Design™ is a non-profit, national network of professional interior designers whose mission is to provide comfort, support, and healing to families with a child facing a medical crisis by transforming the interior spaces of their homes at no cost to them.
Why Savvy Giving by Design?
Over a year ago I was talking to a fellow designer/ friend, Morgan from Lot 35 Homes in OR. She was telling me all about the good work they do, and how one day she would like to have a chapter to run as a way to give back. Morgan’s daughter has a rare genetic disorder that has a very shortened life expectancy. As I listened to Morgan share more about Ani and the trials as mother and business owner at this time, my heart grew knowing that God had placed Morgan in my life for more reasons than friendship.
For years I had pondered ways to give back in honor of my late brother, Brandon Ricchio. Diagnosed with a brain tumor and his first surgery on his 10th birthday, Brandon fought for over a year before leaving us way too soon. I have considered everything from starting a scholarship in his name, to starting some sort of non-profit, all while reaching out to others who had walked the same path as my parents and myself. Having a child who has undergone a medical crisis is life long trauma that never leaves you. What gets you through it, is having a support system built of friends, relatives and your community at large.
When Morgan shared about SGBD with me, I knew it was the way I would be able to give back and reach many families who would have to walk through a nightmare of a diagnosis or get a dreaded phone call of an accident that would change their lives forever.
Being able to utilize my gifts, my community and my amazing teams of local vendors, I knew this was the opportunity I had been looking for. I read the guidelines on a chapter, waited until I met the long list of criteria and then reached out to Savvy Giving by Design National. In March 2021, we are now an approved chapter in Pennsylvania, serving the Leigh Valley, Bucks, Montgomery counties and Philadelphia.
How / When?
With a board of directors behind us, all of the room designs will be done in our studio by myself and my talented group of designers and carpenters. We will also be utilizing other local designers, contractors and sub-contractors along the way, many of which have already offered to donate their time and talents.
Our goal is to do two rooms our first year, then build to as many as we can do each year. My goal is to be able to accept 6 families a year, 3 in the greater Lehigh Valley area, and 3 in the greater Philadelphia area. We have clients in both areas and are confident in our abilities to be able to reach that many families a year…but we will need help, your help, a long the way.
We will be doing fundraising in both areas, and are still looking for one more board member, a treasurer. There will be small items for each space (the child who is facing the medical crisis and each of their siblings) that we will ask for the community to purchase for us, as well as organization of materials, transporting materials, and setting up the spaces – which is done in one weeks time.
This is just the beginning of this journey, and I am so thankful to have you as a part of it…because it takes a village to raise a child, and it takes several to help a family walking through such desolation.