Raising money for those in need—one putt at a time.

Did you know that for the past 27 years, the Windermere Foundation has donated a portion of the proceeds from every home purchased or sold towards supporting low-income and homeless families in our communities? What started in 1989 as a grassroots foundation serving families in need in Washington State has grown to encompass eleven states and has raised over $30 million for programs and organizations that provide shelter, food, children’s programs, emergency assistance, and other services to those who need our help most.

 

In addition to those transaction donations, Windermere offices also hold fundraisers throughout the year to raise even more money for the Windermere Foundation. And one of the most popular fundraisers is a golf tournament, some of which have turned into an annual event.

 

 

Snohomish Golf Tournament

The 22nd Annual Windermere Golf Tournament at Legion Memorial Golf Course in Everett, Washington was held on July 20. Organized by the Snohomish County group of Windermere offices, this event had 124 golfers and raised $36,600. Proceeds of the golf tournament went to Housing Hope—specifically its ChildHope program. Housing Hope’s ChildHope Initiative is dedicated to helping homeless and low-income children achieve age-appropriate development, pursue their potential, and ultimately thrive in school and community.

 

Windermere Legends Golf Tournament

The annual Windermere Legends Golf Tournament took place on August 18 at the Golf Club at Newcastle in Newcastle, Washington. 120 golfers helped raise nearly $30,000, for a grand total of $500,000 raised since its inception. Proceeds benefit The Don Deasy Memorial Leadership 1000 Scholarship Fund, which each year awards scholarships to Quincy High School graduates who demonstrate high potential and financial need, and who have been accepted to the University of Washington.

 

Windermere Stellar Golf Tournament

Windermere Stellar’s seventh annual Golf Tournament was held on August 22 at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Oregon. Over 150 players and volunteers from Windermere Stellar offices and the local community participated in the event, which raised $53,630, for a grand total of nearly $225,000 since its inception. All proceeds benefit local non-profit organizations serving low-income women and children. One such organization is Friends of the Children, which has received over $200,000 since 2014 from Windermere Stellar offices via the Windermere Foundation.

 

Windermere Real Estate’s Chip in for Charity Golf Tournament

Windermere’s in-city Seattle-area offices will come together on October 3 at the Sand Point Country Club for their annual charity golf tournament. Around 120 golfers are expected to play this year to raise money for the Seattle Public School programs that serve low-income students. Last year, 23 teams from 11 Windermere Real Estate offices came out for golfing, a silent auction and dinner, and raised more than $20,000. They hope to raise even more at this year’s event.

 

Windermere Foundation Golf Classic

The 10th Annual Foundation Golf Classic will take place this year on October 17 at The Club At Prescott Lakes in Prescott, Arizona. The event will include breakfast, a silent auction, awards ceremony, raffle, and lunch. To register an individual or a team of four for the event, or to become a sponsor, please visit www.WindermereNAZGolf.com. All net proceeds benefit the Windermere Foundation, which directly supports local charities that assist families and children in need in the greater Prescott area.

 

Thanks to fundraisers like these golf tournaments, as well as a variety of other fundraisers held by our offices throughout the year, the Windermere Foundation is able to continue to support non-profit organizations that provide services to low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S. 

 

If you’d like to help, please consider donating to the Windermere Foundation. To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

Helping Children and Families Gear-up for Back to School

Getting your children prepared to go back to school is stressful enough. We all want to make sure that they are adequately prepared for the upcoming year. Now imagine that you also have to worry about how you’re going to pay for new clothing, shoes and school supplies—it can be quite overwhelming! Many parents just aren’t able to afford all of the back-to-school necessities.

 

Fortunately, there are community and school programs available that can help with that need. And at Windermere, we are proud to support a number of those organizations that help provide backpacks, school supplies, shoes, clothing, haircuts, and other back-to-school-related needs, through donations from the Windermere Foundation.

 

These are just a few examples of how our Windermere offices are helping children in their communities get a good start to the new school year.

 

The Windermere/Coeur d’Alene Realty, Inc. offices supplied backpacks full of school supplies for the KIDS Camp summer school program offered by the Coeur d’Alene School District at Fernan Elementary School. This program serves second and third grade students that have been behind grade level and are recommended by their teachers to attend camp. These classes give them a boost to catch up, and in most cases, get ahead! When Windermere first started supporting the program, there were only 12 kids. This year the number has grown to 57.At the end of the camp, each student receives a new backpack full of school supplies complements of the Windermere Foundation.

 

“It’s a wonderful program that we have been involved with for the last four years,” said Midge Smock, Windermere Foundation representative, Coeur d’Alene Realty, Inc. “The first two years we had agents adopt a backpack. This year, all supplies were purchased in bulk and agents sponsored a full backpack. These kids will be ready for school in the fall.”

 

The Windermere Mount Baker office has been assisting with the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness’s Project Cool back to school supply drive for the last four years. Each summer, the office holds a supply drive and then spends a morning organizing the backpacks for children that are experiencing homelessness. This year approximately 20 Windermere agents volunteered on July 9 to help organize and stuff the backpacks with supplies. These backpacks were then distributed to children in need through various social service organizations and homeless shelters.

 

The Windermere Seattle-Northgate, Seattle-Sand Point and Seattle-Wedgwood offices have been working with 10 elementary schools in their neighborhoods. With the help of principals, advisors, counselors and teachers, 236 children have been identified to be in need of backpacks and school supplies. Supplies include composition notebooks, reams of copy paper and wide rule paper, erasers, colored pencils, crayons, rulers, 3-ring binders, and much more. Supplies will be purchased through grants from the Windermere Foundation, assembled by Windermere brokers, and delivered to the specified schools.

 

The Windermere Bellevue Commons office is holding a backpack/school supply drive from July 26 through August 15 to support Congregations for Kids, which helps students who qualify for free and reduced lunch in the Bellevue School District. Over 25 agents will help with the effort. Last year, 1,525 students benefitted from their assistance.

 

The Windermere Las Vegas-Summerlin office is participating in the Communities In Schools (CIS) “Fill the Bus” back-to-school drive. This event will benefit over 58,000 students in 55 schools statewide that CIS of Nevada serves. This is the second year the office has participated. Last year they helped to fill five school buses with backpacks, uniforms and school supplies for all ages. This year they are hosting a collection drive at their office through August 11, and will bring their collected items to the drop off site on August 12.

 

A number of Windermere offices throughout our network will be collecting shoes August 1-8 for children in need as part of the Windermere Kicks for Kids shoe drive. Each office selects a local non-profit  to receive the donated shoes. One participating office is Windermere Mercer Island which is collecting shoes for Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter for women and children in Seattle, WA.  For the past three years, brokers from the Mercer Island office have participated in a back-to-school event at Mary’s Place, where children are paired with volunteers to select a pair of shoes and backpack for school.

 

 

If you’d like to help children in need in your community during the school year, or throughout the year, please consider donating to the Windermere Foundation. For the past 27 years, the Windermere Foundation has donated a portion of the proceeds from every home purchased or sold towards supporting low-income and families in our communities. And generous donations from our Windermere owners, agents, staff, and the community continue to make Windermere Foundation grants possible.

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

 

Windermere Foundation Quarterly Report

 

Dear friends of the Foundation,

Thanks to your generous donations, the Windermere Foundation has collected nearly $818,000 in donations during the first half of 2016. This is an increase of 11 percent compared to this time last year! Individual contributions and fundraisers accounted for 61 percent of the donations, while 39 percent came from donations through Windermere agent sales transactions. So far, we have raised $31,677,000 in total donations since 1989.

Each Windermere office has its own Foundation fund account that they use to provide grants to organizations in their communities. Year to date, a total of $793,000 has been disbursed to non-profit organizations dedicated to providing services to low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S.

 

One recipient of Windermere Foundation funds was the Brigid Collins Family Support Center in Mount Vernon, Washington. The center is dedicated to ending child abuse by protecting children and building strong families. Founded in 1990, Brigid Collins Family Support Center is the legacy of a core group of volunteers who had a hope of better coordinating the community’s response to child abuse. Today, they have grown to serve more than 2,000 families each year throughout the Northwest corner of Washington State.

Here is how the Foundation donation from the Windermere Mount Vernon office has made an impact on this organization…

 

“Thanks to you, three-year-old Lucas, who was being neglected, is now thriving at home and in day care. Your generous contribution will help support services for children. Your care, concern and commitment are what make a difference for these children in our community.” ~Brigid Collins Family Support Center

 

Thank you to everyone who supports the Windermere Foundation. Because of you, kids like Lucas have the care they need to thrive. If you’d like to help support programs in your community, please click on the Donate button.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

Support Your Local Food Banks During the Summer

Did you know that June is fresh fruits and vegetables month? That’s great if you can afford them. However, they are a luxury for people who struggle to provide even just the basic necessities for their families. Many families rely on their local food banks as a regular supplemental food source. And of those families, 84 percent of households with children report purchasing the cheapest food available, knowing it wasn’t the healthiest option, in order to provide enough food for their family.

And summertime is probably when food banks need your help the most. That’s because children are on break from school and their families have to provide the meals that they normally would get through school meal programs. Six out of seven low-income kids who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch do not get free meals during the summer because they don’t participate in summer meal programs.

So what can you do to help? Does this mean you should go out and buy a bunch of fruits and vegetables to donate to your local food bank? Or maybe donate some extra produce from your home garden? No. The best way that you can help families in need is to donate money to your local food banks. Food banks have agreements or partnerships with distributors/suppliers so that they are able to stretch your donation dollars to purchase more items, usually in bulk. For example, a one-dollar donation—to a food bank hub like Feeding America—can provide 11 meals to families in need. And 68 percent of the foods distributed are healthy foods that align with the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

At Windermere Real Estate, our offices support local food banks through grants from the Windermere Foundation. Here are just a few of the food banks that we have supported over the past year: Idaho FoodbankColumbia Pacific Food BankSt. Vincent de Paul Food BankMarysville Community Food BankThe People’s PantryRepublic, and Maple Valley Food Bank & Emergency Services.

 

 

If you’d like to help, consider making a donation to the Windermere Foundation or donating directly to your local food bank or food pantry.

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

 

 

 

Sources:  feedingamerica.org, nokidhungry.org

Summer camps provide invaluable learning and socialization opportunities for youth

 

Child development professionals recognize the camp experience as being valuable in helping children mature socially, emotionally, intellectually, morally, and physically. Summer camps and summer programs for youth not only keep them occupied while on break from school, it provides them with a safe place to be while their parents are at work, and gives them learning experiences that will help them throughout their lives.

 

Through camps and other summer programs, children can make friends, reconnect with nature, learn social skills, have free time for unstructured play, grow more independent, develop life-long skills, unplug from technology, gain resiliency, build self-confidence, and spend their day being physically active. And for some youth, it gets them away from an unhealthy environment that may exist in their neighborhood.

 

Grants from the Windermere Foundation have allowed many of our Windermere Real Estate offices to support local organizations that provide summer activities to kids. Funding has also allowed for the expansion of existing programs, thus enabling them to serve even more children. And many of these programs also offer need-based financial assistance or scholarships that make it possible for children from low-income families to attend.

 

Here are just a few of the organizations that Windermere Real Estate offices have supported:

 

Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante offers programs in five core areas (character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness, and recreation). All programs are designed to produce positive outcomes for youth and reinforce necessary life skills.

 

Camp Kiwanilong in Clatsop County, Oregon provides a summer youth resident program consisting of several five-to-seven-day overnight camping sessions and are designed to provide a positive environment, nurture self-esteem, and develop lasting relationships.

 

Camp Mak-A-Dream in Montana provides cost-free experiences in an intimate community setting for children, teens, young adults, women, and families affected by cancer, as well as programs for children who have a sibling or a parent with cancer.

 

Donald W. Reynolds Boys & Girls Club offers full-day summer programs for children in Henderson, Nevada. Core programs are also available that engage young people in activities with adults, peers and family members that enable them to reach their full potential.

 

Peer Solutions in Arizona provides peer-led activities year-round to promote positive youth development. Students become ambassadors of change and model positive behaviors, which in turn foster healthy families and communities.

 

Quest Summer Day Camp in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho offers a positive summer alternative for families with kids in the six-to-fourteen age group. That includes active learning and recreational experiences in the course of 10 weeks throughout the summer. Matching scholarships are available to families who can only pay a portion of the cost for their children to attend.

 

Royal Family Kids provides summer camps for children in the foster care system so they can experience positive memories. There are currently 12 camps and 3 clubs in Washington, and the average camp serves 45-50 children each summer.

Want to help make a difference in children’s lives over the summer? Then consider making a donation to the Windermere Foundation or donating directly to organizations that provide summer camps and programs for children in need in your community.

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.  

Windermere Foundation Quarterly Report

 

Dear friends of the Foundation,

Thanks to you and the wonderful support that the Windermere Foundation has received so far this year, we have disbursed nearly $470,000 to non-profit organizations dedicated to providing services to low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S. Our amazing agents, brokers, staff and owners, along with public supporters, continue to contribute generously to the Foundation, making disbursements possible to organizations like Friends of the Children - Portland.

Friends of the Children provide Portland’s most vulnerable children with intensive and long-term mentors. Mentors are full-time, paid professionals that take a preventive, early intervention approach that breaks the cycle of poverty and abuse by helping children in need overcome the many obstacles in their lives. This year, Friends of the Children received a $100,000 grant from the Windermere Foundation, allowing their mentors to help many more children—children like Monty*.

Monty’s caseworker was concerned that his needs weren’t getting fully met at his current foster care home. She told his mentor, Carter*, that she would most likely be moving him to a new place before the end of the summer. For the last two years, Monty had been living with his grandmother who tends to be overprotective and had been reluctant to let him do after school and extracurricular activities. This limited his positive social development. Monty is very introverted, awkward and anxious, misses social cues, and intentionally avoids interacting with other youth. These are all things that Carter noticed right away while observing him in his kindergarten classroom during the foster care selection process.

Monty’s grandmother shared early on with Carter that Monty loved McDonalds and to go on the play structures. Carter used this as a place to build his relationship with Monty and help him grow socially. So a deal was struck—every time Monty came back with a kid’s name, he would get more time to play. After a number of these visits, Monty was learning more about the kids he had met, like the school they attended, how many siblings they had, and their favorite sport. 

They were making progress. So when Carter heard of the caseworker’s plan, he was troubled. He’d already established a rapport with Monty’s grandmother and felt that this was where his mentorship could really make an impact. He knew that it was imperative to get Monty involved in youth activities during the summer in order to keep him in a more permanent place.

After further discussions with Monty’s grandmother, she granted permission for him to attend the Tyron Creek Camp. The caseworker couldn’t believe it and remarked, “She said yes to that?” She had tried before to get Monty’s grandmother to enroll him in a camp for the summer, but had been unsuccessful. 

Monty attended camp, had a great time, and did really well. It was a period of growth for both Monty and his grandmother. Carter is now working with her to sign Monty up for the SUN after-school program and other extracurricular activities, like the Children’s Gym. Best of all, the caseworker no longer has plans to move Monty; he continues to stay at his home with his grandmother.

It is stories like this that make us thankful for your continued support of the Windermere Foundation. It’s also why we capped off the first quarter with a Windermere Week of Gratitude to celebrate Windermere owners, agents, and Foundation Representatives, who together helped make all this giving possible. The highlight of the week was the debut of the new Windermere Foundation video, which illustrates how donations from Windermere owners and agents are making a difference in the lives of low-income and homeless children and their families.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who supports the Windermere Foundation. Because of you, kids like Monty have the care they need to thrive. If you’d like to help support programs in your community, please click on the Donate button.

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation

 

*Names have been changed for this story.

Windermere Foundation 2015 Infographic

If you've bought or sold a home through Windermere Real Estate, you're a part of the Windermere Foundation, and you've helped make a positive difference in the lives of your neighbors in need. The following infographic shows the types of services funded by the Windermere Foundation, and illustrates how even a small amount can make a big difference for low-income and homeless children and their families.

The Windermere Foundation had a goal to reach $30 million in total donations by the end of 2015. Thanks to the generosity of Windermere owners, agents, staff, and our community partners, we reached that goal three months early! Because of this we were able to fulfill 636 grants and help 409 organizations that provide goods and services to those in need in our communities. 

 

If you’d like to help support programs in your community, please click the Donate button. 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

 

 

YMCA Kids Hoop It Up at Half-Time Fundraiser Show

Since 1989, a portion of the proceeds from every home purchased or sold through Windermere Real Estate is donated to the Windermere Foundation. The Foundation uses these donations to provide funding to programs that support low-income and homeless families in our communities. One event that we have supported over the past few years is the annual Husky Hoops half-time free-throw fundraiser at a University of Washington men’s basketball game. At this year’s game, the University of Washington played the team from Stanford.

Three youth from the University Family YMCA participated in this year’s event on Saturday, February 20th. The Foundation donated $100 for each free-throw that was made during the special half-time event, with a minimum $1,000 donation. The three YMCA kids put on a great show this year, wowing the crowd by making 12 baskets! The kids had a blast and the University Family YMCA received $1,200 from the half-time event.

The YMCA is just one of the many organizations that the Windermere Foundation has supported, donating funds over the years towards tuition-assistance for low-income children to attend quality after-school enrichment programs and summer camp activities. To date, the Windermere Foundation has raised over $30 million for programs and organizations that provide shelter, clothing, children’s programs, emergency assistance, and other services to those who need our help the most.

To find out more about the Windermere Foundation, or to make a donation, please visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation

 

Windermere Foundation 2015 Year in Review

2015 was an incredible year for the Windermere Foundation. We reached a goal that we set back in 2013, which was to raise $30 million in total donations by the end of 2015. Not only did we reach that milestone, we did it three months early, thanks to the support of Windermere owners, agents, and staff that increased their giving, held more fundraisers, and brought new donors into the fold. With funds raised for the Windermere Foundation, our real estate offices are able to support local non-profits that provide much-needed services to low-income and homeless families in their communities.

Nearly $2.1 million was raised in 2015, for an overall total of $30,859,447 since the start of the Windermere Foundation in 1989. Donations from Windermere sales transactions accounted for 33 percent of the revenue and 67 percent came from additional donations from agents, owners, staff, and the public.

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY OF FUNDS, GRANTS & DONATIONS IN 2015

 

FUNDING BREAKDOWN

 

So how are funds used? Windermere offices get to decide how to distribute the funds their agents raise so that they may help organizations in their communities. Many offices choose to adopt families during the holidays. Like the Windermere office in Anchorage, Alaska which adopted two families in need. Both families were referred to them by the local elementary school. The school nurse said that when they were asked what they needed for the purpose of a wish list, they wrote down soap, toothpaste, towels and blankets. Also puzzles for the kids, and clothes. (Not your typical holiday wish list.) Well, our Anchorage office did more than purchase the requested items, they went above and beyond!

Each child received three outfits, socks, slippers, and warm jackets—and two toys. The moms received spa packages (soaps and lotions) and throw blankets. The dads received wallets and socks. All of the kids were so excited over the prospect of presents—one six-year-old girl ran around the house saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” after receiving her gifts. Receptionist Breauna Cook was so moved by the experience that after she finished dropping off the gifts to the families, she adopted another family in need from another school, using her own money.

 

While holidays are a peak time of giving, many of our offices also support organizations throughout the year. The Windermere offices in Utah (Salt Lake City-Union ParkPark CityPark City-Kimball JunctionSalt Lake City-Sugar House, and Coalville) have been a dedicated partner of Family Promise - Salt Lake since 2007, going above and beyond through annual financial contributions and large volunteer service projects. Support from partners like Windermere allows Family Promise to provide safe shelters for families in need, as well as case management services to help facilitate lasting income and housing self-sufficiency. Families like Elizabeth’s.

 

Elizabeth had spent months job-searching and researching what apartments were the cheapest in Utah. She had been living in an area of California where there was a lot of crime and not a lot of opportunity. Elizabeth wanted to raise her three children in a safer and more community-oriented environment. So when she finally got a call from Walgreens, who said they would hold a job for her in Salt Lake, she packed up her family and made the move. Not having enough money for a deposit and first month’s rent, Elizabeth sought out shelters and found Family Promise - Salt Lake. There she found a comfortable, safe place to stay that included a storage unit to store her belongings.

“Coming to Utah was a big change to our lives. Living in churches and moving every week is a struggle when you have kids. And trying to keep two jobs while being in a shelter is another struggle and can be overwhelming at times,” says Elizabeth. “It was hard at first, but then we got an apartment within two months. Now, when I look around my new home, I am thankful for everyone in the Family Promise program who helped me get through it all.”

 

Thanks to our agents and everyone who supports the Windermere Foundation, we are able to continue to make a difference in the lives of many families in our local communities. If you’d like to help support programs in your community, please click on the Donate button.

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation

 

Make 2016 A Year of Service

On January 18, 2016, many people across the U.S. engaged in service activities on the federal holiday to honor the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to continue his legacy of service. The MLK Day of Service is also a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative which is built upon the belief that ordinary people can come together and achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools.

If you did not get a chance to volunteer on MLK Day, there are many opportunities for you to get involved and help out others in your community throughout the year. You can visit Serve.gov to find volunteer opportunities near you.

Here are some ideas for how you can help out in your community:

  •  Collect food for your local food bank. They are always in need of donations—and not just during the holidays. There is a great need during the summer when schools are on break, and subsidized breakfast and lunch programs are not available for children.
  • Volunteer at your local food bank. You can come in as an individual, or plan a group outing with co-workers, friends, or family members and help sort and pack food items.
  • Help prepare and serve food at a homeless shelter or community center. The staff will appreciate the help, and the patrons will enjoy interacting with others in their community.
  • Help build and renovate homes. Volunteer with an organization like Habitat for Humanity in your community, or sign up for volunteer trips throughout the U.S.
  • Participate in a neighborhood, park, or beach cleanup. Many neighborhood organizations have at least one yearly event where they garden, paint, or clean up an area within the community.
  • Support a backpack/supply drive. Most schools have a backpack and school supplies drive before the beginning of each school year. You can volunteer to help collect and sort items, or donate money and supplies.
  • Collect warm coats and blankets for the winter season. While shelters need donations throughout the year, warm coats and blankets are in most need during the fall and winter season.

If you are not able to volunteer your time, but would still like to help, then another option is to donate money. This is probably the best way you can help out organizations that serve your community. No matter what the amount, every little bit counts. Many organizations, such as food banks, can make your donation dollars stretch further and serve more people through their partnerships with various organizations.

Not sure where to donate your money? You can always make a donation to the Windermere Foundation and designate your funds to the Windermere Real Estate office nearest you. This ensures that your donation will go towards supporting non-profit organizations that serve people in need in your community. For more information about the Windermere Foundation, please visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.

Please consider donating your time and money throughout the year, and help us make 2016 a year of service. Together, we can make a positive impact in our communities.