Without a good night’s sleep, everything tends to be just a bit tougher. While physicians, teachers, employers and nearly all health experts stress the importance of sleep, not everyone has the good fortune to have a proper bed in which to get those necessary zzzzzzzzs. That’s where Lisa Stein Delevie comes in.
A Norfolk native, Delevie returned to Tidewater in April 2015 from Florida where she raised her children. “After my father (Jerry Stein) passed away in October 2014, I wanted to follow in his footsteps in giving back to the community. My brother Craig—who now runs GrandBrands—asked me if I would head up his project to continue Dad’s legacy by involving Grand in helping the less fortunate in our area,” she says.
Today, Delevie heads up two programs under the GrandBrands umbrella:
Hope to Dream – Ashley Home Stores Chance to Dream Grand – Grand Furniture
Through these programs, furniture, bedding and other essential items are donated to a variety of causes. For example, “We just donated furniture for the Food Bank’s volunteer lounge and we had employees commit to volunteer for their Mayflower Marathon Nov. 18–20,” she says. “We run our bedding program in partnership with four leading mattress manufacturers for charities such as ForKids, CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), VetsHouse and Habitat for Heroes.
“And, through the Coalition Wounded Warriors, we donate lift chairs for amputees,” she says.
Delevie credits her parents with her inspiration to devote so much time and resources to philanthropy: “My parents were the salt of the earth. They never turned anyone away.
“It’s not always money that makes a philanthropist. My mother (Arlene Stein) taught me that volunteering your time and effort is as important as giving money,” she notes.
The Jewish community also has played a role in Delevie’s life’s journey. In addition to myriad volunteer positions, she most recently served on the board of directors of her temple in Boca Raton, Florida, and as a guardian ad litem in Palm Beach County, Florida.
“The Jewish community gave me a centered life growing up and taught me the values of giving back and being there for others. As an adult, the Jewish community continued to ground me and provide a way for me to teach my children values and to contribute to those less fortunate than myself,” she says.
Combining the example of their parents and the Jewish community, in 2008, Jerry Stein and his children established the Arlene Stein College Scholarship in partnership with the Tidewater Jewish Foundation to provide Jewish young people financial assistance to be able to attend college.
“My siblings, children and nieces and nephews continue to be inspired by the example of my parents and the Jewish values that they taught us. We give a $10,000 scholarship per student annually, equaling $40,000 over four years. We alternate Stein family members to be on the selection committee (along with Tidewater Jewish Foundation members), so that all family members have the chance to participate and give back.”
Never seeking publicity or recognition, one of Delevie’s favorite personal rewards, she says, is including and encouraging others to join her in helping others. “I’ve been blessed in that my enthusiasm and joy in giving to the less fortunate families and veterans in our area has inspired leading manufacturers to donate bedding sets to our community,” she says.
“Similarly, our employees—we call them “ambassadors”— have taken the initiative and volunteered to ride along with me and the warehouse trucks to deliver the bedding. Seeing these families’ faces and hearing their gratitude is so beautiful. Your heart wants to break when you see how families live in our area, and to be able to give something back is so rewarding.”Terri Denison