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
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 Park, Park City, Park City-Kimball Junction, Salt 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.