We are excited to announce that as of third quarter of this year, the Windermere Foundation has collected $1.4 million in donations, which means we are well on our way to reaching our goal of raising $2 million by year’s end! Individual contributions and fundraisers accounted for 58 percent of the donations, while 42 percent came from donations through Windermere agent sales transactions. In total, we have raised over $32 million since the Windermere Foundation was started back in 1989.
Windermere/Seahawks #Tacklehomelessness Campaign
We recently made the announcement that Windermere is now the Official Real Estate Company of the Seattle Seahawks. And at the center of this partnership is a new #tacklehomelessness campaign in which the Windermere Foundation will donate $100 for every Seahawks home-game tackle during the 2016 season. On the receiving end of these donations is YouthCare, a Seattle-based non-profit organization that has been providing services and support to homeless youth for more than 40 years.
So far, the first two Seahawks home games have generated $5,700 in donations, but it’s still early, and we expect to raise upwards of $35,000 by the end of the season. These funds will help YouthCare provide services that help get youth off the streets and prepared for life—youth like Dana and Leslie.
Dana is 20 years old and has been living on the streets since she was 14 or 15. Dana was wary of accessing drop-in and other services due to family and personal trauma, and the failure of various systems to support her in her past. Once she learned that she was able to enroll in case management through YouthCare’s outreach services, she agreed to work with YouthCare’s Street Outreach Case Manager, Sam. Through Sam’s coaching and support, Dana has completed a housing assessment to get on the waitlist for available housing. Dana has a vision of herself beyond the streets, and she has Sam and YouthCare’s Outreach Team to walk that road beside her and offer the support she needs along the way.
Leslie walked in the front door of YouthCare’s James W. Ray Orion Center, wet and cold from an early spring rainstorm, and asked for help. She had lived in Seattle her entire life, moving between her mother’s apartment and foster care, hoping always to be able to stay in one place for longer than a month. She had recently turned 18, and the friend’s couch she had been sleeping on was no longer available. Her education had been patched together over the years as she’d shuffled between schools, not connecting with any specific teacher—and she wanted to achieve her GED. She told the Orion Community Resource Specialist that she had met a YouthCare Outreach team member on the streets and came in to see how YouthCare could help.
The Community Resource Specialist sat down with her, completed an intake form and offered her food, water, dry clothes, and invited her to eat a hot lunch. Every day, YouthCare’s Orion Center offers a hot breakfast at 8:30 am, lunch at 12:30 pm, and dinner at 6:00 pm. Leslie stayed for lunch and then the cooking class in the afternoon, where she learned to cook falafel, pita bread, and tomato-cucumber salad. She stayed overnight at YouthCare’s Young Adult Shelter and was referred to YouthCare’s Barista Training Program, where she started an eight-week apprenticeship. Soon she was running the Orion Center Mock Café — an event hosted by graduating Barista program apprentices—and serving up complicated coffee orders with ease.
Thank you to everyone who supports the Windermere Foundation. Because of you, homeless youth like Dana and Leslie receive the services and support they need to get back on track with school, work, and life. If you’d like to help support programs in your community, please click on the Donate button.
This article originally appeared on the Windermere.com blog. To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.