It’s that time of year, when summer vacations are wrapping up and families are preparing for their children to go back to school—which means purchasing new clothes and new school supplies. However, for many families, budgets are tight and it’s difficult to provide their kids with even the most basic of necessities.
Fortunately, there are Windermere offices throughout the Western U.S. working with local organizations to provide backpacks, school supplies, and food for low-income and homeless students in their communities. Below are just a few of the back-to-school efforts that have been taking place during the month of August.
* Agents in Windermere’s Bainbridge Island, WA office donated $2,000 to Helpline House’s Project Backpack, an annual back-to-school program that provides backpacks and supplies to Bainbridge Island school children.
* The Windermere Bellevue South office provided nearly $1,000 worth of school supplies to low-income children in the Bellevue, WA School District through Congregations for Kids.
* Throughout the month of August, the Windermere office in Kingston, WA is collecting backpacks, school supplies, and food for lunches and after school snacks. There are currently more than 100 homeless students in the Kingston School District, and this back-to-school drive will help over 250 students. Donations received will be distributed via the two food banks in Kingston.
* For the past eight years, the Windermere Green Lake, Lakeview, Northgate, Northlake, Sand Point, and Wedgwood offices have provided backpacks to low-income children at their local elementary schools in north/northeast Seattle. This year, they will fulfill the largest request they’ve received since the program’s inception by delivering 390 backpacks for kids in need.
* The Windermere Mount Baker, WA office donated $500 for school supplies and participated in a backpack stuffing event for Project Cool, for Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. Around 18 Windermere agents and family members helped to stuff backpacks with school supplies for students in need in pre-school, middle and high school.
* The Windermere Relocation and Referral Services office in Seattle is participating in the August back-to-school drive for Ruth Dykeman Children's Center and Seattle Children’s Home. The office has participated in this drive for the past three years, purchasing backpacks with their Windermere Foundation funds, and staff donating various school supplies.
* The Windermere Alderwood office co-sponsored the Edmonds, WA School District Back-to-School Resource Fair, which supports students in need in the Edmonds area. At the fair, families received school supplies, haircuts, and information about support services and opportunities within the community. There were 750 backpacks—stuffed and tagged by grade level—available for students.
* Windermere South Group offices, which include Burien, Federal Way, Federal Way West Campus, Kent, Maple Valley, Property Management-South, Renton, and Renton-Tukwila South, have supported the annual back to school fair in SeaTac, WA with a $1,000 donation for the past six years. This year’s donation will help provide 1,500 local students with a backpack and school supplies.
* Each year in August, the Windermere offices in Spokane, WA combine their Windermere Foundation funds and host a Shoes and Socks event for the community. The goal of this year’s event was to help 100 children in need prepare for the upcoming school year by giving them a chance to shop for their own school shoes and socks. A partnership with the local Big 5 store allowed each child to browse for shoes in the store, try them on with the assistance of a Windermere broker, and get the perfect shoe.
* The Windermere Whidbey Island-Oak Harbor, WA office has supported the Opportunity Council’s annual backpack and school supply drive for the past five years—this year, donating $2,500 to the cause. The office has partnered with the Opportunity Council for many years, helping with homeless housing, coats for kids, and their annual backpack drive. The backpack project will help over 250 low-income children enrolled in the program.
* On September 5, brokers at the Windermere Eugene, OR office will kick off a Lemonade Stand fundraiser for the local SMART reading program. Windermere brokers and their kids will serve complimentary lemonade and accept donations for the Windermere Foundation. Proceeds will help buy books for in-school reading programs and children's take-home book packs. The Windermere Foundation will continue accepting donations for SMART until September 19. Community members who would like to make a contribution should call their local Windermere broker or the company’s Oak Street office at (541) 484‐2022 for more details.
* For two weeks in August, agents at the Windermere Raleigh Hills, OR office collected backpacks, snacks, shampoo and various school supplies for the Community Transitional School in Portland. The school helps children whose families are homeless, experiencing poverty-related crises and/or are in transitional situations.
Thank you to all of our offices and everyone who has donated time and resources to the various back-to-school drives. Your contributions help provide low-income children and their families with the support they need to succeed in school.
Please feel free to share your stories and photos with us in the comments or on the Windermere Foundation Facebook page at www.facebook.com/windermerefoundation.