More February 4, 2010

News from the Foundation

Greetings from the Windermere Foundation,

We are celebrating our 20th anniversary and we have much to celebrate! Collectively, we have raised over 21 million dollars since 1989 allowing us to help hundreds of thousands of low-income and homeless families.

While the past year presented challenges for many, it proved to be especially trying for anyone near the border of poverty. Thankfully, generous agents, owners, managers, staff and public supporters have continued their dedication to the Foundation which helped raise over 1.2 million dollars.

For the 10th consecutive year, the over-and-above donations have exceeded the transaction fee revenue! In 2009, 60% of Foundation revenue came from over-and-above donations, while 40% was comprised of transaction fee revenue.

These much needed funds are distributed to many social service agencies committed to assisting low-income and homeless families throughout the West.

A couple stories that help illustrate what we’ve been able to accomplish over the years – thanks to your support:

From 1989 – The cycle of giving continues
A mother with three young children was helped by the Windermere Foundation’s housing assistance grants and she always remembered the generous gift. She said the Foundation gave her hope and encouragement at a time when things looked pretty bleak. She made a promise that at some point her family would repay the Foundation for the generosity they received.

Then in October 2000, three teenagers and their mother arrived at Windermere Real Estate and asked to see Maria Bunting, Founder and Executive Director of the Windermere Foundation. During their visit with Maria, the teenagers spoke about the positive impact the Foundation has had on their lives. Before they left the Windermere office, they each made a hard-earned contribution to the Foundation so that the cycle of giving would continue.

From 2006 – Windermere Kids at the Y
In 2006, the Windermere Foundation and the YMCA partnered to create Windermere Kids at the Y, a tuition-assistance and volunteer program that provides low-income children with quality child care and after-school enrichment programs through local YMCA sites.

Over the years the Foundation has supported the YMCA with over one million dollars in contributions. We’ve also received countless testimonials from parents whose children attend a Y site where our program is offered. This one is my favorite:

“My son has been attending the YMCA since the fall of 2006. Being a single father I have not been able to afford many things for my son, but due to the Windermere Kids at the Y program I have been able to enroll Ryan and know that he is safe, well cared for and getting the help that he needs. I am happy to say that the YMCA and Windermere have made a big difference in our lives. Thank you for giving us the chance to succeed.” – YMCA Parent

From 2009 – Christmas House
The Snohomish County Chapter of the Windermere Foundation is comprised of 12 offices. This past Christmas, eight of the offices found a great way to give back and have a terrific experience volunteering their time at Christmas House. Their dedication helped 3,890 families and 11,000 children received Christmas gifts they likely wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Christmas House is a non-profit organization that provides gifts for children of low-income families in Snohomish County. The operation procures gifts year-round and runs from 8AM to 3PM for several weeks prior to Christmas relying on 50 volunteers each day during those busy weeks.

Several Windermere agents volunteered their time during these weeks and many brought older children to help out – giving kids a whole new perspective and appreciation of the difficult times many families are facing.

Kay Frederickson, coordinator of the Snohomish County Chapter said the following about her experience, “I think it goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway, when you give of yourself you always get more than you give and Windermere agents really seem to understand that.”

Looking ahead to 2010, we will continue to focus on all the amazing stories of how your continued support is changing the lives of so many in the communities we serve.

What are you looking forward to in 2010?

In the words of Cesar Chavez, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about the progress and prosperity for our community.”

Christine Wood