Earlier this year, Windermere Real Estate hosted the “Windermere Foundation Charity Challenge” to celebrate the Foundation’s 25th anniversary. Twenty-one non-profit organizations throughout the Western United States were nominated by Windermere offices to compete via Facebook for $25,000. The five non-profits that received the most votes were Hand in Hand, Friends of the Children of Portland, Family Promise of Spokane, Boys and Girls Club of El Sobrante, and Yavapai CASA for Kids, Inc. Each organization received $25,000, for a total donation of $125,000 from the Windermere Foundation. Here’s what they’ve been up to since receiving their winnings.
Hand in Hand (Western Washington)
“The gift of $25,000 went to our Safe Place program,” said Todd McNeal, Executive Director and Founder of Hand in Hand. Safe Place provides medical care, food, clothing and shelter to kids who are removed from their homes in emergency situations. Each child that comes in receives an initial health screen, has access to a forensic nurse when needed, and receives three to five new outfits, shoes, school supplies, and a backpack or roller suitcase for their new stuff. For babies, formula, bottles, diapers, and any other needed items are sent as well. On average the children stay two-and-a-half days while the social workers look for a home for them. Volunteers provide most of the direct child care and they use donations of goods to keep costs low. The Windermere donation has allowed Hand in Hand to hire staff and purchase food and clothing to serve an additional 50 to 60 children this year.
Friends of the Children of Portland (Oregon)
“Thank you so much for your support!” said Megan Lewis, Director of Development and Marketing for Friend of the Children. “We are incredibly grateful for the Windermere Foundation’s generous commitment to our East County Impact Capital Campaign. The $25,000 donation will go towards our building project, which is to construct a facility to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the youth we serve.” This donation, in addition to other generous donations, has helped to bring them up to 72 percent of their five-million-dollar goal.
Family Promise of Spokane (Eastern Washington)
“Thank you to the Windermere Foundation. Not only do you provide money each year to help pay for permits, work clothes, shoes, kitchen items, and hundreds of other necessities for our homeless families, you also provide boots, shoes, socks, and underwear each year at the beginning of school, and at the beginning of the winter for the children of these families.” said Steve Allen, Executive Director of Family Promise of Spokane. “And then, to top it off, you selected us to participate in this $25,000 competition.”
Mr. Allen said that the $25,000 donation turned their books from red to black in an instant, and provided them with the opportunity to consider, over the ensuing months, how to reduce the number of homeless kids in the Spokane Valley. It also opened the door to them being able to move into a new building that will double the number of families they are able to serve.
Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante (California)
The donation they received helped with their summer program, which serves between 80 and 100 children each week. “Thanks to Windermere's support, the Club is able to provide ten hours of care every day, weekly field trips to places such as the Lawrence Hall of Science, the Oakland Zoo, and the Aquarium of the Bay, and a variety of programs including Arts & Crafts, Athletics, and Brain Gain, a pilot program aimed to prevent summer learning loss,” said Alexa Garratt, Development Director at Boys & Girls Club.
“These are just a few examples of how Windermere has helped the Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante positively impact the youth and families they serve. Ultimately, Windermere's support has helped guarantee the Club's ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for youth to learn and grow year round."
Yavapai CASA for Kids, Inc. (Arizona)
“CASA for Kids strives to provide many items and services, not covered by state funding, to children in foster care living in the quad-city area of Prescott, Prescott Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, and Chino Valley (Arizona). With the ever-increasing numbers of children being removed from unsafe homes, our operating budget was stretched beyond its limits,” said Diana Dalsass, a Board of Directors member for Yavapai CASA for Kids, Inc. “The $25,000 award from the Windermere Foundation will permit us to fully conduct two of our most critical programs, with additional funds remaining for others.”
The two primary programs funded by the Windermere award are: The Annual Clothing Card Supplement, which allows foster parents to purchase additional clothing not covered by the state’s clothing budget for the children in their care. The other provides Emergency Clothing Cards, which helps foster parents purchase basic necessity items for children while they wait to receive funds from the state. Many of these children are removed from extreme living situations and come with just the “rags on their backs.” CASA for Kids makes emergency clothing gift cards available to the case managers at the Department of Child Safety, to be used under these circumstances.
Congratulations to all the winners of the Windermere Foundation Charity Challenge and to our Windermere owners and agents for their passionate support of these non-profit organizations. For more information about the Windermere Foundation, please visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.