Michael Graves Design Monthly Delight Feature: Meet Greg

Meet Greg

This month we welcomed Greg the founder of Little Deeds to our Q&A Blog. Read on to find out more about Greg and his passion for universal design for accessibility.

Tell us about yourself, what’s your story?

I directed the nonprofit Light Street Housing in Baltimore where we trademarked the process of “Homelessness to Homeownership”. Helping the formerly homeless with jobs, housing, and recovery we also worked on credit repair and family reunification 

We also had a program where we renovated homes much like Habitat for Humanity with the volunteers working alongside our residents who were formerly homeless (who worked a minimum of 500 hours on their own future homes). Along the way, we created a jobs program where our residents would make small repairs to low-income seniors homes. 

We created a powerful double bottom line, frankly by accident, when we discovered the men and women who were formerly homeless would feel wanted and needed and proud of their work helping others while getting encouragement and hugs, likely for the first time in their lives. 

On the other hand, our seniors that are low-income were getting vital repairs completed for free and an opportunity to spend quality time with our residents. The seniors often mentored and embraced our hard workers, much like parent figures. 

Both our clients who were formally homeless and our clients who are senior citizens had been struggling with many losses in their lives including loneliness. 

This experience stayed with me for decades leading to the creation of Little Deeds, our home accessibility service where we use any profits to help and advocate for our clients who are lower-income and seniors today! We focus on the Little things that can make a big difference in a client's quality of life. 

Recently we built a custom wood ramp for a Veteran and his daughter, both with disabilities, in Annapolis. They both enjoy sitting outside in their wheelchairs so we included a nice deck area too! 

Ramp image before and after
Little deeds ramp images

What is one thing you’d like our readers to know? 

Stigma is a deeply damaging cultural defect. When we react negatively, we are damaged, not just the ones we stigmatize.  

Universal design helps overcome stigma as it benefits all people from all backgrounds and abilities, often in ways that bring smiles! Great design also causes us to pause for a second and think about what exactly was it that brought that sudden sense of joy.  An example is how we tell clients that grab bars should be in all homes as everyone is at risk of falling at any time. We call our Little Deeds grab bars ‘Jewelry for the Bathroom’! 

What led you to MGD?

I was picking up a prescription in CVS and browsed the shelves where I discovered the elegant and smart design of Michael Graves designed walking canes, convertible shower chairs, and folding travel walkers. I loved these minimalist elegant designs with such vital functions of home safety that I reached out to CEO Ben Wintner and had a wonderful and insightful conversation about our mutual passion for great and affordable design that leads to the best in accessibility 

Anything else you’d like our readers to know? 

My family are tiny home lovers and owners and we have lived on our sailboat full time for over 7 years (Surf N Turf Lifestyle!). This minimalist life has taught us how little we really need to be happy. Good health, family, great friends, and the basics of life are all that is needed to be truly happy. We’ve learned that we don't own our stuff, it owns us. Minimalist design like Michael Graves is a part of this thoughtful and deliberate way of living.

What do you love most about the company Michael Graves Design?

It’s increasingly rare these days to find a company like Michael Graves Design that understands how vital it is for all of us to have access to great design that is well-executed and remains steadfastly committed to making our world just a little bit better and safer. Michael Graves designs a present and future I bet all of us want to live in. 

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