The following blog post was written by Jenny Randgaard, a former Norix Furniture sales representative that worked for the company for more than 20 years. Below, she tells the story of her daughter who passed away in 2012 and the sea turtle conservation work her family continues to conduct in her memory.
Lisa Jo Randgaard, sea turtle activist
Lisa Jo Randgaard loved wildlife, especially sea turtles. She related personally to their great strength, yet ever-present vulnerability in light of her own serious congenital heart condition, which was faced with immeasurable courage and wit. As a wildlife activist, Lisa was drawn to the work of the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) in Gainesville, FL, a nonprofit founded in 1959 by Dr. Archie Carr, the recognized godfather of sea turtle conservation that has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating.
Lisa was a donor and advocate to educate family and friends about these endangered, prehistoric wonders of the sea, and the power of philanthropy to advance their protection in a rapidly-changing and threatening world. When Lisa passed away from complications of her chronic illness at age of 43 in May 2012, our family chose to honor her passion for sea turtle conservation and established The Lisa Jo Randgaard Fund at STC, the first member-initiated endowment fund in the organization’s 55-year history.
Lisa’s Fund and its impact on sea turtle conservation is a top priority for the Randgaard family, which carries the torch for their beloved daughter and sister. Early in 2013, Lisa’s mother and two sisters hatched an idea, dubbing themselves “The Sew Turtles.” They embarked on Lisa’s Fundanas Project, hand-sewing 334 custom bandanas using sea turtle fabric and other related adornments, and raised $10,210 in contributions by the project’s end in March 2014, with 100 percent of all gifts directed to Lisa’s Fund. Subsequently, almost 200 Fundana photos were posted by supporters on the family’s dedicated website LoveIntoSustainedAction.com.
These are soap bars that “Clean and Protect”
Lisa enjoyed creating and giving soaps, inspiring “The Sew Turtles” to morph over the summer into “The Soap Turtles,” who now offer their handmade soap bars called “Flippery When Wet.” These aromatic soaps are created in small batches using all natural ingredients including essential oils, sustainable palm oil and organic coconut oil. The Randgaard family is once again covering all costs to make, package and ship soaps to ensure that 100 percent of every donation goes to Lisa’s Fund.
Your donation to Lisa’s Fund at STC honors Lisa’s memory and conservation activism, and this unrestricted endowment fund will help endangered sea turtles by providing annual funding in perpetuity. Lisa would be thrilled to see what her example started and the Randgaard family is moved deeply by the support of people across the country and around the world.
Orders for Flippery When Wet handmade soap bars will be taken starting October 27 and donations to Lisa’s Fund must be received by STC, either online or by check, before soaps are shipped. A minimum donation of $35 includes three soap bars plus shipping and handling, either a single scent or variety pack such as Lavender-Litsea, Lemongrass, and Rosemary-Mint. Information on ordering and online links can be found at LoveIntoSustainedAction.com. For more information on the Sea Turtle Conservancy, visit its website.