August Perspectives: Summer Splash at Green Lake

There’s nothing quite like Seattle in August – it’s our favorite time of the year. That’s because you can usually count on blue skies, warm temperatures, and minimal rain, making it the ideal place to do just about anything outdoors. It’s also the time of year when families start getting ready to send their kids back to school. Sadly, for some kids, going back to school represents a time of stress because they don’t have something that most of us take for granted – a pair of shoes.

Studies show that when kids feel good about their appearance, it improves both their self-esteem and their performance in school. We think every child deserves to start the school year on the right foot, so with your help, we’re determined to make that happen.    

 

 

On August 16, in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation and the George Pocock Rowing Foundation, Windermere is hosting a free family event at Green Lake called the Windermere Summer Splash. This day-long event kicks off first thing in the morning with a Junior Rowing Race and Corporate Cup Regatta that will see some iconic Seattle companies face off. Other highlights include food vendors, live entertainment, giveaways, and a whole host of kid-friendly activities. And if you’re game, you and your kids can also try your hand at rowing, canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.

What does all of this have to do with kids who need shoes? Well, in addition to celebrating summer fun and healthy activities for families, we’re holding a sneaker drive for low-income youth called “Kicks for Kids”. Bring a pair of new or gently used sneakers (kids sizes 1-9) to the event and our friends at Gentle Giant Moving Company will make sure they’re delivered to the King County Boys and Girls Club, and Mary’s Place, in time for the first day of school. Can’t make it to the Summer Splash? No problem. Just drop off the sneakers at any local Windermere office between now and August 15.

We hope to see you (and your kicks) next Saturday. For more information about the Windermere Summer Splash event, please visit www.WindermereSummerSplash.com.

Please Donate to Our Kicks for Kids Sneaker Drive

While many kids enjoy the final days of summer, their families are getting ready for the upcoming school year. Sadly, the thought of going back to school can be a stressful time for some kids, because they don’t have something that most of us take for granted—a pair of shoes.

Studies show that when kids feel good about their appearance, it improves both their self-esteem and their performance in school. We think every child deserves to start the school year on the right foot, and we’re determined to make that happen through our “Kicks for Kids” shoe drive. We will be collecting shoes from August 1 through August 15 to benefit kids through the King County Boys & Girls Clubs and Mary's Place.

You can help make a difference in the lives of local low-income kids by dropping off a pair of new or gently used tennis shoes (kids’ sizes 1–9) at one of our participating Windermere offices. You can also bring them to the Windermere Summer Splash event on August 16 at Green Lake in Seattle.

Thank you for your support and for helping children get a great start on the school year!

Mid-Year Foundation Report

Helping children get through the school year and more.

Thanks to your donations, the Windermere Foundation has been able to disburse nearly $840,000 to non-profit organizations throughout our network, during the first half of 2014. This included 269 grants, with an average grant size of $3,121—grants that support programs like weekend meals for school kids.

Did you know that one in five children go to bed hungry each night? And weekends are even worse for those children that depend on subsidized school lunches for their meals. But thanks to you, local children received support from services like the Healthy HIP program, which provides backpacks filled with nutritious food to school children who would otherwise go hungry on the weekends.

Children like Joseph, who received a backpack filled with food for the weekend. And do you know what happened when he took it home? He didn’t eat any of it. Instead, he just lined it up and stared at it. You see, it had been such a long time since Joseph had seen so much food; he wasn’t sure if, or when, it would happen again. He didn’t know how long he had to make it last. Only after being assured that he didn’t have to worry, and that there would be more food for him next week if he needed it, did he eat and eat until he couldn’t eat anymore.

So thank you. Your generosity is making a real difference for children like Joseph.

Through the first half of this year, the Windermere Foundation collected over $673,000 in donations. Of those funds, 62 percent raised were through individual contributions and fundraisers, and 38 percent were raised through Windermere agent sales transactions. So far, we have raised over $27 million since 1989. But we still need your help to reach our fundraising goal of $30 million by the end of 2015. Check out our Windermere Foundation Timeline for some of our giving and fundraising milestones.

If you’d like to help, go to https://store.windermere.com/content/foundation-donation to make a donation.

Having Trouble Staying On Top Of The Clutter?

When a home gets unorganized and cluttered it can feel like an overwhelming task to clean it back up. But with the following tips and storage ideas, you can organize your home—and keep it  that way. 

Sort through your stuff

The first step to getting organized is to get rid of clutter and unnecessary things. Start by going through one room or closet at a time, sort everything into three groups: keep, maybe, and toss. Keep items in the “maybe” group in a basket, and then once every few months or so go through it and decide if they are worth keeping. It’s easier to judge if you need to keep something once it has been out of sight for a while. Chances are if you haven’t thought about those items  or used them after a few months, you don’t need them anymore. Items you’ve decided to toss can be recycled, thrown away, donated to charity, or sold in a garage sale or online. Items you’ve decided to keep should all have a place in your home where they belong. There are a plethora of great storage solutions available to help you organize these items in a way that makes sense for your home.

 

Look for unused spaces

Think of spaces that you aren’t making the most of in your home. Chances are there are a lot of hidden areas that you wouldn’t think to store things in. For example: the space next to the refrigerator could be a great pull-out spice rack or canned good storage. In the garage, consider storing things in boxes on the ceiling. Awkward nooks in walls can become desks or shelving units.

 

Vertical Storage

A great way to add more storage space to your home is “storing up”. There is a lot more wall and air space in your home than floor space, so building up, with high shelves or stacking can get things off your floor and organized. Adding extra shelves to your wall or putting baskets on top of existing cabinets or book cases can also create additional storage space.

 

Put things on display

When you store things on display you keep things organized and easy to find, while adding decoration to your home. Wrapping paper, ribbon, and other colorful craft supplies mounted on the wall or in the open can create an attractive, space-efficient crafting/work area. Hanging jewelry on display, in a frame or on the wall, makes getting ready easier, and adds to the decor.

 

Double duty furniture:

Consider buying furniture that doubles as storage. Furniture with storage within it takes up the same amount room as regular furniture, but gives you the ability to store much more. A bed with drawers can house linens, a bench by the mudroom is perfect for shoe storage, and try storing quilts in an ottoman in the living room.

 

Keeping it clean

Once everything in your home has a place, upkeep is not hard work. Just keep on top of everyday messes and clutter and continue sorting things in your home into keep, toss, or maybe categories. Identify where the clutter in your house comes from, and you can better avoid it in the future.

 

For more tips and inspiration follow our home organization board on Pinterest.

Indoor Air Quality Basics

Most of us tend to think of air pollution as something that occurs outdoors where car exhaust and factory fumes proliferate, but there’s such a thing as indoor air pollution, too.  Since the 1950s, the number of synthetic chemicals used in products for the home has increased drastically, while at the same time, homes have become much tighter and better insulated. As a result, the EPA estimates that indoor pollutants today are anywhere from five to 70 times higher than pollutants in outside air.

Luckily, there are many ways to reduce indoor air pollution. We all know that buying organic and natural home materials and cleaning supplies can improve the air quality in our homes, but there are several other measures you can take as well.

How pollutants get into our homes

Potentially toxic ingredients are found in many materials throughout the home, and they leach out into the air as Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. If you open a can of paint, you can probably smell those VOCs. The “new car smell” is another example of this. The smell seems to dissipate after a while, but VOCs can actually “off-gas” for a long time, even after a noticeable smell is gone.

We all know to use paint and glue in a well-ventilated room, but there are many other materials that don’t come with that warning. For instance, there are chemicals, such as formaldehyde, in the resin used to make most cabinets and plywood particle board. It’s also in wall paneling and closet shelves, and in certain wood finishes used on cabinets and furniture. The problems aren’t just with wood, either. Fabrics—everything from draperies to upholstery, bedding, and carpets—are a potent source of VOCs.

The good news about VOCs is that they do dissipate with time. For that reason, the highest levels of VOCs are usually found in new homes or remodels. If you are concerned about VOCs, there are several products you can buy that are either low- or no-VOC. You can also have your home professionally tested.

How to reduce VOCs in your home

Make smart choices in building materials.

  • For floors, use tile or solid wood—hardwood, bamboo, or cork – instead of composites.
  • Instead of using pressed particle board or indoor plywood, choose solid wood or outdoor-quality plywood that uses a less toxic form of formaldehyde.
  • Choose low-VOC or VOC-free paints and finishes.

Purify the air that’s there.

  • Make sure your rooms have adequate ventilation, and air out newly renovated or refurnished areas for at least a week, if possible.
  • Clean ductwork and furnace filters regularly.
  • Install air cleaners if needed.
  • Use only environmentally responsible cleaning chemicals.
  • Plants can help clean the air: good nonpoisonous options include bamboo palm, lady palm, parlor palm, and moth orchids.
  • Air out freshly dry-cleaned clothes or choose a “green” cleaner.

Fight the carpet demons.

  • Choose “Green Label” carpeting or a natural fiber such as wool or sisal.
  • Use nails instead of glue to secure carpet.
  • Install carpet LAST after completing painting, wall coverings and other high-VOC processes.
  • Air out newly carpeted areas before using.
  • Use a HEPA vacuum or a central vac system that vents outdoors.

Prevent Mold.

  • Clean up water leaks fast.
  • Use dehumidifiers, if necessary, to keep humidity below 60 percent.
  • Don’t carpet rooms that stay damp.
  • Insulate pipes, crawl spaces, and windows to eliminate condensation.
  • Kill mold before it gets a grip with one-half cup of bleach per gallon of water.

We hope this information is helpful. If you would like to learn more about VOCs and indoor air quality, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/. 

Announcing the Winner of the Community Service Day Facebook Challenge!

On June 20, Windermere offices in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska, and Utah all took a day off from selling homes to help make a difference in their local communities. Our offices were challenged to share photos and videos from their community service day event on the Windermere Real Estate Facebook page, and in turn, they received a $100 donation to the Windermere Foundation charity of their choice.

To add some competition to this challenge, we offered an additional $1,000 charitable contribution to the office with the most Facebook “likes” and comments. So, who won?

With a total of 206 likes and comments on their photo, the winner of the CSD Facebook photo challenge is Windermere North (Lynnwood)! Owner, Lena Maul, and her team will be donating the $1,000 prize to “Pathways for Women” which provides shelter for homeless women and their children through their local YWCA.

Windermere offices from throughout the region participated in the CSD Facebook photo challenge, here is just a sample. To see all entries, check out the Windermere Facebook page and look through the “posts to page”. Thank you to all of our offices for participating and sharing your stories.

Eastern Washington: Tri-Cities/Richland “First annual Health and Safety Fair”

Utah: Head Start

Hawaii: Kona, Humane Society

Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Children’s Village

Oregon: Southwest Portland Boys and Girls Club

Montana: Helena Food Share

Summer Entertaining Guide

Summer is officially here, and the season is ripe with opportunities for parties, barbeques, and outdoor entertaining with friends and family. To set the stage for fun gatherings, we have collected some ideas for outdoor decorating, fun party themes, and more on the “Summer Entertaining” Pinterest board. What are your tips for throwing a fantastic summer soirée?

Outdoor improvement

Add some finishing touches to your outdoor spaces to create a fun atmosphere and a touch of your personal style.

Party ideas

You don’t need an excuse for a party! Elevate your gatherings to a whole new level with these fun party ideas.

Get your game on

From Bocce to Horse Shoes, there are plenty of games for guests of all ages.

Summer safety

Keep your friends and family safe outdoors with these quick tips.

How to feed a crowd

Don’t forget to search for delicious recipes, quick BBQ tips, kid-friendly foods, and summery cocktails.

You can find more fun home decoration and entertaining ideas on the Windermere Pinterest Board.

Celebrating 25 Years of the Windermere Foundation

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Windermere Foundation. What started in 1989 as a grassroots foundation serving families in need in the Seattle area, has grown to encompass ten states and has raised over $26 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.

In honor of this anniversary, we want to take a moment to reflect on some of the milestones the Windermere Foundation has achieved over the past 25 years. We also want to recognize and thank everyone who has helped us get to where we are today – especially our agents who continually embody the notion that service to others is not something you do, it is who you are.

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Windermere Foundation through the years. With your help, we will continue to help make a positive difference in the lives of our neighbors in need.

Follow your local Community Service Day projects!

On Friday, June 20, Windermere offices in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah will be closed for a very special reason. Since 1984, Windermere has dedicated the third Friday of June to our annual Community Service Day*. On that day, you will find our team doing a variety of projects, including cleaning, landscaping, and painting at local senior citizens centers, facilities for homeless children and adults, public parks and schools, low income housing, and emergency shelters, among others.

Follow what are offices are doing on Community Service Day! Each office that posts a Community Service Day photograph or video on the Windermere Real Estate Facebook page, (www.facebook.com/WindermereRealEstate) the Windermere Foundation will donate $100 dollars to that office’s Foundation fund, to benefit low-income and homeless families. We encourage you to “like” our Facebook page, follow the Community Service Day projects, as well as your favorite Community Service Day photos. The office with the most photo/video “likes” and comments will receive a $1,000 donation for the Windermere Foundation charity of their choice. The contest will end Thursday, July 3.

*Windermere’s Southwest offices hold their Community Service Day in October

 

Hawaii    
Office Name Project Project Description
Kahului- Maui Hawaiian Islands Landtrust Public area clean up.
Kona- Big Island Kona W. Hawaii Humane Society Painting, landscaping and cleaning new location. 
Paia- Maui Hawaiian Islands Landtrust Public area clean up.
Waimea- Big Island Waimea Middle School Painting and cleaning school parking lot. 
     
Idaho    
Office Name Project Project Description
Boise- Richard B. Smith Food Bank Stocking and organizing food bank warehouse.
Coeur d'Alene Children's Village Gardening, cleaning, painting, building shelves, organizing children's toys and clothes for the facility.
Caldwell Food Bank Stocking and organizing food bank warehouse.
Hayden Children's Village Gardening, cleaning, painting, building shelves, organizing children's toys and clothes for the facility.
Moscow Sojourner's Alliance  Cleaning an organizing facility and storage space. 
Post Falls Children's Village Gardening, cleaning, painting, building shelves, organizing children's toys and clothes for the facility.
     
Montana    
Office Name Project Project Description
Helena Helena Food Share Landscaping, sorting food, and general help around the building. 
Missoula Child Development Center  Restore garden and build a cement patio for bike riding.
     
Oregon    
Office Name Project Project Description
Bend Healing Reins Painting indoor arena.
Cannon Beach Seaside Baseball Field, Brodway Park Paint dugouts and shack at baseball field.
Corvallis SafeHaven Humane Society Help relocating to new facility 
Eugene Food for Lane County Clean and plant community gardens. 
Hillsboro Orchard Park Landscaping and mulching. 
Lake Oswego Lakeridge High School Landscaping, cleaning up sports fields
Lake Oswego - West Volunteers of America - Children's Relief Nursery Weeding, playground cleaning, general maintenance. 
Newport Habitat For Humanity Planting flower boxes, mural painting, facility clean up
Portland Heights Project Lemonade Sorting clothes that are sold to foster kids.
Portland- Lloyd Tower NE St. Andrew's Nativity School Cleaning, painting, straightening - get projects dones that have been on the teachers' lists since its summer!
Portland- Moreland Boys & Girls Club Cleaning up and organizing the center, which includes painting, yard work, and cleaning play areas.
Portland- North the Hereford House PDX   Painting, power washing, yard work and donation collection.
Portland- NW Johnson Lift Urban Portland Gardening.
Portland- Raleigh Hills Hopewell House Cleaning up the grounds at a hospice facility.
Seal Rock Habitat For Humanity Planting flower boxes, mural painting, facility clean up
West Linn West Linn Adult Community Center Landscaping.
     
Utah    
Office Name Project Project Description
Coalville Salt Lake City Head Start Building a play house from Trex, Painting eaves on the school, Trimming trees, bushes, shrubs and pulling weeds.  Adding a Berm and Tree to the front playground area, Cleaning the brick walls, resealing them with Schellac as well as window washing.
Park City Salt Lake City Head Start Building a play house from Trex, Painting eaves on the school, Trimming trees, bushes, shrubs and pulling weeds.  Adding a Berm and Tree to the front playground area, Cleaning the brick walls, resealing them with Schellac as well as window washing.
Salt Lake City- Foothill Salt Lake City Head Start Building a play house from Trex, Painting eaves on the school, Trimming trees, bushes, shrubs and pulling weeds.  Adding a Berm and Tree to the front playground area, Cleaning the brick walls, resealing them with Schellac as well as window washing.
Salt Lake City- Union Park Salt Lake City Head Start Building a play house from Trex, Painting eaves on the school, Trimming trees, bushes, shrubs and pulling weeds.  Adding a Berm and Tree to the front playground area, Cleaning the brick walls, resealing them with Schellac as well as window washing.
     
Washington    
Office Name Project Project Description
Anacortes Storrik Park Painting.
Arlington City of Arlington Cleaning up and landscaping our adopted park in downtown
Bainbridge Island City cleanup projects Pick up trash at Hawley Cove, High School Road Round About and City Hall parking lot. 
Bellevue Commons Little Bit Theraputic Riding Center Weeding, painting, cleaning tack and paddocks, power washing and even ironing ribbons for the participants.
Bellevue South Camp Korey Gardening, weeding, fence repair, trout pond restoration, painting, cleaning storage facility and facilitating a craft project.
Bellevue West Evergreen Court Retirement Community Landscaping, power washing and yardwork.
Bellingham Lydia Place Landscaping, building raised beds, gardening, clearing bush, planting a pumpkin patch, flower beds and painting. 
Birch Bay Lydia Place Landscaping, building raised beds, gardening, clearing bush, planting a pumpkin patch, flower beds and painting. 
Burien  Lake Burien School Memorial Park & Mathison Park Playground updates and invasive plant removal
Camano Island- Terry's Corner Derby Day Community event. 
Centralia Student backpacks Purchase, assemble and distribute backpacks for low-income students. 
Euphrata George Community Hall Cleaning, painting, weeding. 
Fairhaven Lydia Place Landscaping, building raised beds, gardening, clearing bush, planting a pumpkin patch, flower beds and painting. 
Federal Way Boys & Girls Club Summer camp clean up: adding mulch to play area, clearing an overgrown area and removing some unwanted trees. 
Gig Harbor- Builder's Choice Northwest Furniture Bank Landscaping at facility, delivering furniture to families, unloading donated furniture, doing some painting and assembling furniture for families.
Issaquah Hopehouse Building deck, cleaning housing, landscaping and painting. 
Kelso/Longview Salvation Army Various community service duties 
Kingston Litter Patrol Trash clean up for the beach, ferry terminal and downtown area
Kirkland Kirkland Interfaith Transitional Housing (KITH) Repair fencing, tree removal, deck repair, landscaping and painting
Kirkland- Northeast Hopelink Collecting, sorting and bagging food for the foodbank
Kirkland- Yarrow Bay Kirkland Performing Arts Center Landscaping and painting. 
Lake Stevens Local community families Home maintanence for families in need. 
Lynden Lydia Place Landscaping, building raised beds, gardening, clearing bush, planting a pumpkin patch, flower beds and painting. 
Lynnwood YWCA Facility painting, installation of doors, new lighting and flooring, supply room organization and landscaping. 
Maple Valley Tahoma Senior High School  Painting the baseball dugouts and doing landscaping around the school grounds.
Marysville    
Mercer Island City of Mercer Island Mercerdale park flower bed clean up, tree trimming, debris hauling and Summer Celebration preparations.
Monroe Matthew House Exterior clean up, landscaping, sorting and organizing donations. 
Mount Vernon Sedro-Woolley Boys and Girls Club Food collection and facility clean up. 
Mukilteo Mukilteo Food Bank All day food drive for local food bank.
Property Management- Bellevue Teen Feed Clean kitchens for nightly meals and assemble summer resource kits for homeless youth.
Property Management- Edmonds Teen Feed Clean kitchens for nightly meals and assemble summer resource kits for homeless youth.
Property Management- Seattle Teen Feed Clean kitchens for nightly meals and assemble summer resource kits for homeless youth.
Property Management- Seattle/Eastlake Seattle Parks Department Removing invasive plants and cleaning up the Burke Gilman Trail.
Property Management- South Kent Youth & Family Services Exterior updates? Painting fences and curbs
Pullman Sojourner's Alliance  Cleaning an organizing facility and storage space. 
Relocation and Referral Srvs Noel House Serve breakfast to shelter clients. 
San Juan Island Mullis Senior Center Landscaping, weeding, cleaning beds and sprucing up with 3yards of beauty bark. 
Seattle- Ballard Golden Gardens/ City of Seattle Wetlands restoration: planting trees, cleaning up debris and mulching. 
Seattle- Capitol Hill Capitol Hill Housing Paint and landscape low-income housing site. 
Seattle- Eastlake Rebuild Together Home rehabilitation on a elderly gentlemen's home to make it safe and habitable.
Seattle- Green Lake Bathhouse Theater Pick up parking lot and garden area. 
Seattle- Greenwood Boys & Girls Club Gardening, painting, facility organization, cleaning, and building fences.
Seattle- Lakeview Good Shepard Senior Center Clean, garden and serve lunch. 
Seattle- Madison Park City cleanup projects Pick up trash and weeds on city traffic circles. 
Seattle- Magnolia Street Fair Provide community resources for neighborhood. 
Seattle- Mount Baker Wellspring Baby Boutique Organize baby supplies. 
Seattle- Northgate YouthCare Facility cleaning and yard work.
Seattle- Northlake Bothell Senior Center Weeding and Gardening.
Seattle- Northwest Greenwood Foodbank Cleaning, organizing and sorting food.
Seattle- Queen Anne City cleanup projects Pick up litter and weeds along Queen Anne Avenue.
Seattle- Sand Point YMCA Magnuson& Sand Point Elementary Cleaning, organizing, gardening, and summer event support.
Seattle- Wall Street Mary's Place Painting, cleaning, organizing and other needed projects.
Seattle- Wedgwood Nest Help maintain homes for elderly community members.
Seattle- West Seattle Longfellow Trail & Pea Patch Project Cleaning and weeding community garden & greenbelt. 
Services Company Ryther Landscaping, mural painting and other improvement projects. 
Services Mountain West Transitions Landscaping and remodeling transitional living areas.
Sequim Sequim Boys & Girls Club Clean and organize club location, make space for kids exercise room.
Sequim- SunLand Sequim Boys & Girls Club Clean and organize club location, make space for kids exercise room.
Silverdale Central Kitsap Foodbank Widdening access road, building retaining wall and building raised veggetable beds. 
Shoreline Food Lifeline Foodbank support.
Spokane- City Group Transitions Landscaping and remodeling transitional living areas.
Spokane- Cornerstone Transitions Landscaping and remodeling transitional living areas.
Spokane- Liberty Lake Transitions Landscaping and remodeling transitional living areas.
Spokane- Manito Transitions Landscaping and remodeling transitional living areas.
Spokane- North Transitions Landscaping and remodeling transitional living areas.
Spokane- Valley Transitions Landscaping and remodeling transitional living areas. 
Tacoma- North Northwest Furniture Bank Landscaping at facility, delivering furniture to families, unloading donated furniture, doing some painting and assembling furniture for families.
Tacoma- Professional Partners Northwest Furniture Bank Landscaping at facility, delivering furniture to families, unloading donated furniture, doing some painting and assembling furniture for families.
Tacoma- University Place Northwest Furniture Bank Landscaping at facility, delivering furniture to families, unloading donated furniture, doing some painting and assembling furniture for families.
TriCities- Kennewick  Cooper Larson Baseball Field at Kennewick American Fields Paint Grandstand, Power Wash & Shop Vac entire facility, fix up dug outs & paint benches, clean the clubhouse and paint bathrooms.
Tri-Cities- Richland Kids Safety Fair Providing community resources for kids summer safety. 
Vancouver- Mill Plain Fruit Valley Food Drive Hosting a local food drive, filling backpacks with food and distributing to local schools for low-income students. 
Vashon Island Granny's Attic Sort donations for re-sale. 
Walla Walla YWCA Family Shelter Staining the downtown benches, weeding & cleaning the tree wells and building some play equipment. 
Whidbey Island- Oak Harbor Help House food Bank Food collection, interior painting and exterior clean up.
Woodinville Neighborhood beautification Planting along 175th street.
Yakima Northwest Harvest and Habitat for Humanity Food drive and house painting. 

June Perspectives

Recently, we were at a luncheon honoring corporate philanthropists from throughout the Puget Sound region. Companies of all shapes and sizes were honored, from the largest technology giant to a local shipyard committed to preserving Ballard’s Nordic heritage. The commonality among all these companies was giving back. Some do it by donating millions of dollars to non-profit organizations, while others give through volunteerism and in-kind donations.

We were reminded that philanthropy is not a one-size-fits-all proposition – and it got us thinking about our own charitable efforts at Windermere. While we’re incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to achieve through the Windermere Foundation, can we do more?

The answer is always yes.

For us, that comes in the form of our annual Community Service Day. Cash is king, but there’s something to be said for rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. That’s the philosophy behind Community Service Day.

For 30 years, Windermere offices have closed their doors for one day to help make a positive difference in the local community. This year’s event is on June 20, and on that day you will find us doing a variety of projects, including cleaning, landscaping, and painting at local senior citizens centers, facilities for homeless children and adults, public parks and schools, low-income housing, and emergency shelters, among others.

We love living in a region that is known globally for its charitable giving. And we love being a part of a company whose agents prove time and time again that service to others is not something you do, it is who you are.