Says Joe Maddon: “The volunteers are the unsung heroes. Without them, none of our efforts occur.” Every month, the Respect 90 Foundation will salute a distinguished volunteer from the communities of Tampa, FL, Chicago, IL, Mesa, AZ, Southern California, or Joe’s Hometown of Hazleton, PA. Respect 90 will present a $1,000 grant to that volunteer’s charity. Should you have someone who is deserving, please let us know.
Cora Davenport | Cora’s Crafts
Like a lot of parents, when the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, Christina and Jeffery Davenport were concerned about their children. With in-person schooling giving way to virtual learning, keeping young students busy at home was going to be a challenge. To make it more difficult, a couple of months before the pandemic, the family lost their beloved patriarch, Christina’s father, Chuck.
It was a tough time for the Brea, CA family of four. Who would have guessed what was about to come? Looking to give her five-year-old daughter Cora something to do, Christina bought her a jewelry making kit. Not long after, something very special began to happen.
“Cora started making beaded jewelry and then one day we ran into AJ, one of the children here in town,” recalled Jeffery. “AJ is a cancer fighter and Cora sent him a keychain she had made. He lives on the same street as her grandfather did so we kinda feel like he is looking over us and watching this. That’s pretty much where it started. We spread the word on Instagram about her jewelry and it took off.
“She was just trying to spread joy with the jewelry making,” says Jeffery a life-long Angels fan and like Christina, a Southern California native. Both work in the medical field.
Soon, it just wasn’t just kids receiving that joy. She began making trinkets for the heroes at the urgent care near where the Davenports live. Then it was local firemen and California’s famous Hotshot firefighting crews.
And just like that, Cora’s Crafts was born. It wasn’t long before the entire family, including her older brother Billy, a second grader at the time, was making jewelry to keep up with the demand. The group will become an official 501(c)3 this spring or summer.
“For the children she made the jewelry with pony beads (versatile drum-shaped beads),” explains Jeffery. “For adults we have lava beads and gemstones that she uses.”
Says Cora: “My favorite part is the crafts and making the kids smile. My favorite it beading.”
“She loves making jewelry,” says Christina who taught her the basics. “And so does her daddy,” she adds with a laugh.
Lately, Cora has been expanding her offerings for hospitalized children to include packages containing lotions, coloring books, and crayons and beads for the young patients to make their own jewelry. The Davenports did the same thing for the foster children at the Orangewood Foundation, near the Angels Stadium in Anaheim. The team and its players have also helped Cora’s efforts. Cora was interviewed about her community work by Angels’ sideline reporter Alex Curry and Angels pitcher, Ty Buttrey recorded a video for her.
The family has also enlisted the help of small businesses in the community and they have responded by donating items for Cora’s care packages.
“It started off as something to do together during the pandemic,” Jeffery says. “We’ve been quite busy. We’ve sent over 200 packages out to kids and that is not counting what we have done with the foster homes and the community heroes.”
Rick Vaughn | Executive Director, Respect 90 Foundation