As a successful business owner who grew up in poverty, David Lee believes in helping others help themselves. The owner of DK Landscaping of Rohnert Park, California, grew up in Hong Kong with his family of seven in a single room with no electricity. Buckets took the place of plumbing.
Because Lee can relate to those struggling to make ends meet, he has become known for his philanthropic acts. DK Landscaping received a “Charitable Business of the Year” honor in 2014. Most recently, Lee donated a car to Keshia Roberts, a former addict and convict, who will begin taking classes at Santa Rosa Junior College this fall.
According to a news release, Roberts completed a yearlong program at Crossing the Jordan, a faith-based residential treatment facility in Santa Rosa, and has been clean and sober for almost two years. For Roberts, a childhood of abuse led to teen years of addiction, homelessness and jail. Giving birth while handcuffed to a hospital bed, she realized she had hit bottom and resolved to rebuild her life.
Crossing the Jordan founder Michael Bryant is confident Roberts will reach her goals. “She’s an amazing lady,” he says in the news release. “She’s overcome more than most people can imagine.”
Lee founded DK Landscaping, which stands for “David and Kathy,” Lee’s wife, 13 years ago, following a 20-year career as a computer engineer at Hewlett Packard. Kathy explains the couple’s philosophy of giving on their company website: “We’re far from wealthy, but we’re thankful for what we’ve got. We’ve been down and we take nothing for granted. If we have a little extra, I’d rather give someone some comfort – food, a sleeping bag – than go shopping for myself. It makes us feel good.”
Lee’s personal motto is: Live what you believe. “It’s not about cutting lawns. It’s about changing the world,” he says on the DK Landscaping website. “Please join hands with me to make the world a better place.”