The holiday season seems to bring out the best in people. And at Windermere, when our offices see a need, they act on it. Often times the need is identified by an individual from an office, like Karen Cleveland from the Vancouver-Mill Plain office.
Karen was at her grandson’s confirmation class several weeks ago when they had a guest speaker. The speaker was from Janus Youth Programs and the topic was homeless youth in Clark County. The discussion brought awareness to the students and parents of the homeless situation. One topic they touched on was how these kids, especially in the Pacific Northwest, need socks. When it’s wet out, they don’t have any clean, dry socks. And walking around in wet socks contributes to health issues. The next day, Karen discussed the need with her manager and contacted the Windermere Foundation to get funding approved to purchase items for Janus Youth.
After securing $500 from the Vancouver-Mill Plain and Vancouver-Metro offices, Karen and her grandchildren set out on a shopping trip to purchase socks and other needed items. “Our kids were great shoppers,” said Karen. “They calculated how much they could spend and still have money to pay tax, and then figured out how many of each item to get.” At the end of the trip they had purchased 52 hats, 128 pairs of gloves, and 310 pairs of socks! Karen added, “I’m also letting my agents know that when they’re out shopping this holiday season to grab a bag of socks and we’ll get those to Janus Youth also.”
But that is just one story from our network. Many of our Windermere offices get into the holiday spirit every year…
Each year, agents at the Edmonds office help fill stockings for children at Tomorrow's Hope, a branch of the Housing Hope organization in Snohomish County. These children are in the daycare program and are children of families in transition. Many of them do not even have homes. Agents select a few children to shop for, wrap and fill the stockings with small gifts which are then delivered by a group of “elves” from the office.. For many of these children, these are the only gifts they may receive.
Nearly 300 Windermere brokers from six Eastside offices in King County, WA came together on December 6 for their annual Windermere for Kids event. Brokers partnered with around 100 "little shoppers" at Target to help them buy presents for their families. Wrapping stations were also set up to help wrap gifts. This group of offices has participated in this holiday tradition 15 times in the last 18 years.
The Ellensburg office is having free photos with Santa on December 10 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be collecting canned food to benefit the Community Christmas Basket. The office is also selling holiday wreaths as a fundraiser for children in need in the community until December 11.
The Issaquah office is holding a holiday drive for Eastside Baby Corner through December 17. The office is collecting items for babies in need. Items, such as infant clothing, onesies, sleepers, blankets, formula, diapers, and baby food. They are also collecting bedding for children in need for their “bedding bonanza.”
This is the second year that the Kent office has adopted two local elementary schools for the holiday season. Agents meet with teachers, the counselor, and principle at Fred Meyer to shop for the children identified as the most in need from their schools. They then coordinate with the parents to get the gifts wrapped and delivered so they can surprise their children with gifts for Christmas.
The Lewiston office co-sponsored the Northwest Children’s Home Red Stocking Campaign. This campaign raises funds for the NCH to continue to provide individualized therapeutic, educational, and residential services to abused, neglected, and abandoned youth at their Lewiston campus.
Windermere offices throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington are collecting coats and blankets through December 18 for their annual Share the Warmth drive. Transition Projects will distribute the coats and blankets collected to those in need.
The Portland-Raleigh Hills office is hosting Windermere Stellar’s annual Silent and Live Auction on December 9 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. This free event is open to the public, and proceeds from the auction will benefit the Windermere Foundation.
The Salem office is hosting a holiday event/open house on December 9 for the Salem/Keizer community. Coffee, cookies, tea, and hot chocolate will be served and they’re also collecting donations for the Homeless Outreach Advocacy Program (HOAP) to benefit many homeless families throughout Marion and Polk County, and the Share the Warmth drive.
The Scappoose and St. Helens offices placed their annual giving tree in Fred Meyer with a wish list of gifts to purchase for children served by SAFE of Columbia County. They also donated funds to food banks in three different communities, donated to Toy and Joy in St. Helens and Scappoose, and donated to a local backpack program.
The Seattle-Ballard office adopted two large families this year. This is the 20th year in a row that the office has adopted families and provided them with gifts and other necessities for the holiday season. They also hold an annual photo with Santa event early in December, with donations collected to benefit the Windermere Foundation.
The Seattle-Northlake office held a free Santa photos event at their office on December 2 at which they also collected donations for the Windermere Foundation. The office also adopted a cabin of Ryther’s youngest residents, which houses youth ages four to ten years old, and fulfilled items on their Christmas wish lists.
The Seattle-Northgate office has an annual Secret Santa program in December. They purchase gifts for 10 or more kids from Kenmore Elementary and deliver the wrapped gifts to the schools on December 15.
The Snohomish office held its 7th annual Spaghetti Feed and silent auction on December 6. Brokers and staff from the office did all the prepping and serving at the event, and a local broker provided musical entertainment. Proceeds from this old-fashioned Christmas event benefit the Snohomish Food Bank.
The Spokane (City Group, Cornerstone, Liberty Lake, Manito, North, and Valley) offices held their annual Boots & Gloves event. This event has been put on each year since 1999, through a long standing partnership with Windermere and Big 5 Sporting Goods. Family Promise of Spokane, a homeless transition program for families, is one of the local organizations benefitting from the event. “We can't say enough about how grateful we are for Windermere Spokane annual Boots Drive for homeless and former homeless families. This year 52 present and past Family Promise kids got boots, socks, gloves and hats from the Windermere Foundation and their wonderful volunteers.”
Windermere Real Estate joined Dicks Drive-Ins to support Mary’s Place No Child Sleeps Outside campaign with a $20,000 donation from the Windermere Foundation. Over 550 families sleep outside in Seattle every night, mostly single mothers with children, sleeping in places that are cold, wet, and unsafe. For every $10,000 raised, 25 families can get the down payments they need to move into transitional or permanent housing. The goal is to reach $500,000 by December 31.
These are just some of the events going on throughout our Windermere network. Thanks to the generosity and support of our agents, Windermere has been able to help make this holiday season a little brighter for those in need in the communities we serve. If you’d like to help us continue to support these and other programs, please click on the Donate button.
To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation