Community Service Day has been an annual tradition at Windermere since 1984. Each year in June, our offices close their doors for a day to volunteer in their local communities. Windermere agents, office owners, and staff join together to complete various neighborhood improvement projects for local organizations. Here are several Community Service Day stories from across the Windermere network this year.
Community Service Day 2023
The Golden State was well represented during this year’s Community Service Day. The Alameda office’s relationship with their local food bank began three years ago when they helped set up the organization’s Island Community Market, and they’ve done their part to ensure the event goes off without a hitch ever since. This year, Windermere folks restocked shelves and lent a hand wherever they were needed to feed as many people as possible. For their efforts, they got a heartwarming shoutout on social media from the Alameda Food Bank.
Windermere Tower Properties in Riverside, California has served the local area for over 30 years. The owners, agents, and staff there are deeply connected and care about the wellbeing of the community. These values are shared by local organization Keep Riverside Clean & Beautiful, so they were a natural partner for CSD. 25 agents cleaned up Shamel Park, where many of their children often gather to play. They picked up trash, picked weeds, removed graffiti, and by the end of the day, the park felt brand new.
Moving north, the Windermere offices in Oregon were busy helping their communities. The Gearhart office, along with staff from Windermere Realty Trust helped out their longtime friends at Camp Kiwanilong this year, whose mission embodies the positive change the local Windermere offices strive to effect in their community. In the past, they’ve worked together to provide scholarships to families undergoing financial hardships and make sure local kids have equal access to summer camp. This year, the volunteers spent a day painting cabins, power washing canoes, and performing trail maintenance. They also donated $2,250 through the Windermere Foundation for Kiwanilong’s scholarship fund.
Children experiencing homelessness all too often face the unfortunate reality of not having a place to sleep at night. This is where Portland Shed comes in. The agents and staff at the Portland – MLK Office had been in talks with the local organization for months, trying to find the most effective way they could help. They encouraged Portland Shed to apply for a grant, which was approved by the Windermere Foundation in March for $5,000. When it came time for CSD, the MLK office knew where they were headed. 25 agents helped build 20 beds for Shed’s “Sleep in Heavenly Peace” program, and a small group of agents delivered two beds to children and families in need.
Sometimes a common name can bring people together. Windermere Heritage in Salem, Oregon found common ground with Powerland Heritage Park, both in their name and their purpose. Powerland is a community of museums that collectively preserve antique farm equipment. This wasn’t the typical partner for the local Windermere folks’ CSD plans, but they felt the need to do something out of the ordinary this year and raise awareness for an organization people may not have known about. They spent the day boosting curb appeal and completing various landscaping projects. And riding tractors!
Windermere Bozeman-Downtown continues to do great things in the Bozeman community. For Community Service Day this year, they continued their tradition of volunteering for Eagle Mount, a local organization providing sports and recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and young people impacted by cancer. The Windermere team gathered to set up and support The Western Rendezvous, Eagle Mount’s largest annual fundraiser.
Anyone who’s been to Montana knows how connected the communities are to the natural land. For the residents of Whitefish, knowing about the surrounding wild lands and contributing to their upkeep is of utmost importance. Whitefish Legacy Partners was a natural fit for their CSD efforts, given the organization’s dedication to maintaining Montana’s natural beauty. The Windermere Whitefish team spent the day working as a crew maintaining the existing trail and supporting new trail construction. Not only were they happy to do their part to preserve their natural surroundings, but they also now feel more confident in their ability to teach other community members how they can do the same.
“The National Ability Center is close to our hearts,” says Alisa Scott, Social Media Manager at Windermere Utah. The NAC empowers individuals of all abilities to build self-esteem and lifetime skills through sport, recreation, and education. As residents of Utah, the local Windermere team is at home outdoors. They were motivated by the local non-profit’s dedication to providing outdoor recreation opportunities for children and adults who might not otherwise have it, so for their CSD project they completed a variety of landscaping tasks to help improve the facilities. But the connection between these two didn’t stop there.
NAC’s mission aligns with the Windermere Foundation by providing self-esteem, confidence, and a safe place for children to thrive. This inspired Windermere Utah to donate $5,000 last year, and after another year of developing the relationship, they were happy to double their philanthropic efforts for this special organization in 2023. After a long day of hard work, they presented a $10,000 check that brought ear-to-ear smiles throughout the room.
Community Service Day is all about making our neighbors’ day a little brighter. A group of 20 agents from the Fort Collins and Windsor offices in Colorado did exactly that. They partnered up with Neighbor to Neighbor, energized by their dedication to provide sustainable housing, supportive services, and education to local families. The agents helped clean up one of the organization’s properties in a rental community that was undergoing massive renovations. Neighbor to Neighbor needed lots of landscaping help to get the property rent-ready again, and with Windermere Colorado’s help, they were able to get back up and running.
Neighborhood improvement projects come in different sizes. For their community service efforts this year, Windermere Bellevue South dug out an 80-yard-long area that had been taken over by an invasive group of blackberry bushes. They partnered with the Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center, who plan to plant a new batch of native plants in the area. It was hard work, but with a workforce of 40 strong, the Bellevue South team was able to completely clear the bushes by the end of the day. Oxbow looks forward to restoring the balance of natural biodiversity in the area. Great job, team!
Windermere Mercer Island started the month of June off with a donation to the Mercer Island Boys and Girls Club, combining agents’ “over and above” contributions to the tune of over $2,600. The funds will go toward sponsoring children in summer programs who may not have the means to pay, which means more children can participate in enriching activities and have memorable summer experiences. For CSD, the Mercer Island agents supported the Boys and Girls Club’s All Island Track and Field Event. They helped check in over 1,200 kids, acted as timers on the field, and distributed awards at the end. The event ran smoothly, and the agents left feeling proud they were able to create a meaningful summer memory for so many kids.
Get your tissues ready. Windermere Northwest Living takes pride in their close connection with the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools and the Fruit Valley Community Learning Center, which hosts a food drive for students who rely on the school for food. As summer approaches, this food drive helps families when school is out. After gathering $3,000 in agent donations to buy groceries, they donated over $5,400 for the organization to ensure they’re able to continue to support the community. The agents at Windermere were left speechless by the gratitude Fruit Valley showed them, but Fruit Valley principal Matthew Fechter was able to put the impact of the event into words. Pictured: Matthew Fechter | Video Source: Sophie Dziak
Read more about Windermere’s philanthropic efforts, past Community Service Day events, the Windermere Foundation and more on our blog: Windermere Blog
Featured Image Source: Dallin Green | dallingreen.com