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.