Since its founding, integrated planning and design firm Lawrence Group has strived to make a positive impact on the community by leading through heart and caring for others.
To that end, Lawrence Group has recently undertaken a pro bono project to design a new community support space in Collinsville, IL for 3 Little Birds 4 Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading kindness like confetti and granting wishes to families impacted by cancer.
Inspired by the lyrics of popular Bob Marley & The Wailers’ song Three Little Birds – “Don’t worry about a thing ‘cause every little thing gonna be all right” – Ashley Swip founded 3 Little Birds 4 Life after losing her 28-year-old brother Guy “Tyler” Gifford to malignant melanoma in November 2010. It was through all his treatments, surgeries and the final stages of his battle with cancer that Ashley realized that her brother needed to have one more great day doing the things that he loved, which for Tyler meant spending a day with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Ashley was able to make Tyler’s wish come true before he passed, just like she continues to do for others today through her volunteer organization.
Lawrence Group was introduced to 3 Little Birds 4 Life through Senior Interior Designer and Associate Principal Lisa Morrison, NCIDQ, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador. Her neighbor and friend, Megan Barbour, reached out to ask if she could recommend any good space planning programs online. Barbour has played an integral role in 3 Little Birds 4 Life for many years. Probing a little bit on what Barbour was working on, Morrison offered to assist with their small space planning exercise. After meeting with the organization’s team and learning about their goal for a new space, Morrison, backed by Lawrence Group, decided that she would lend her design expertise to the cause.
“I love being able to use my talents and resources to help out an organization like 3 Little Birds 4 Life. It’s such a small ask from me, but it creates such a huge return for this organization and my community. Consider it my small act of kindness,” said Morrison.
Morrison started designs in April on the organization’s new 1,230-square-foot-space, named The Nest, located at 9500 Collinsville Road in Collinsville, IL. The space will include a retail area for visitors to choose a gift for someone in their life going through a rough time. There are also reach-in coolers for frozen, prepared meals and fresh flower bouquets. The hub of the space is the multipurpose gathering area featuring comfortable seating and monitors for educational events and training sessions. This area can be rearranged for parties, events and even yoga classes for the community. The space will be the center of operations for the charity with some desking and office space as well. A major part of the budget is going towards upgrading the current facility to be accessible, which includes renovations for an accessible restroom.
“The inspiration for the space really originated from my meeting with Ashley and Megan on-site and hearing the joy in their voices for what this space could do for their organization,” said Morrison. “We wanted to create a bright, welcoming and cheerful environment with biophilic touches and possibly a few neon installs for some great Instagram-able moments. This community space would give a face to an organization that has been doing such great work for the past decade. The design utilizes bright, bold brand colors, hand-painted murals and graphics that showcase the organization’s various programs.”
Construction on the project is expected to begin in November 2023 and be completed in spring 2024. The organization is currently raising funds for the construction portion of the project. For more information about The Nest project and 3 Little Birds 4 Life, visit https://3LittleBirds4Life.org.