More May 2, 2014

Windermere Foundation “Agents of Change” newsletter

Working together to change lives and renew hope in your community



You’re more than
a good samaritan;

you’re a HERO!

From Christine Wood
Executive Director

I’ll bet you didn’t know this but in my book, YOU ARE MY HERO!

When you give to the Windermere Foundation, you make a dramatic difference in the lives of so many hurting people. Men, women, teens and even families who are barely hanging on are finding hope — and it’s all because your kindness is giving them the strength and courage to move their lives forward.

We created this newsletter, Agents of Change, because we wanted you to know how much good your generosity is doing.

As you read the stories of David and Allison, Josh, Heidi Leineweber, and Consuelo and her family, please know that it is your giving that has rescued them from the point of desperation to where they now can see a future filled with positives.

In some circles, that would qualify you as a good samaritan. But to me you’re more than that. You have done something heroic. In the face of incredible odds, you have stepped up because you care about people, and your community.

Thank you!

Christine Wood
Executive Director


You've got the power!

Your help with their utility bills was a life-saver for this family

Life can be overwhleming for young families, particularly when the unexpected happens. Thank goodness for generous people like you who are always ready to come to their rescue.

Many low-income families are just one emergency from financial ruin.

That's where David and Allison found themselves after complications from the birth of their second child forced Allison to take six weeks off of work without pay.

Even before the birth of their son, this hard-working young couple was barely making it from one month to the next. Then their little boy was born with a congenital heart defect, and a routine two-day hospital stay turned into six weeks in intensive care.

Without two incomes, David and Allison quickly fell behind on their bills and got a notice from the power company that their electricity was about to be turned off.

Making the shut-office notice doubly serious: their newborn required around-the-clock monitoring on several pieces of home medical equipment — including an energy-draining infant oxygen machine.

For a while, all seemed lost. Then you came through and, with the help of other caring friends, helped this family catch up with their electric bill, which by that time had climbed to almost $600.

Eighteen months later, we’re happy to report that the family is doing better, and their young son no longer requires around-the-clock monitoring. “He’s a fun little guy,” his mother beams.

It wasn’t so long ago that this family was facing the real possibility of losing their electricity and ending up on the streets. But your kindness rescued them just in the nick of time.

Thank you for using your compassion to light up their world!



Drugs lost their stranglehold on Josh, thanks to you

One smart move led to a brand new life

Josh needed a new beginning.

Only 18, he was already hooked on heroin and crystal meth. He tried going through rehabilitation in Utah but sobriety proved elusive. That’s when he headed for Las Vegas in search of a new start — and was introduced to the organization Street Teens.

Homeless and addicted, Josh knew he didn’t have many options. So he swallowed his pride, asked for help, and got it, thanks to you and our community partners in southern Nevada.

The first thing Street Teens did for Josh was get him off the streets. Once he knew he had three nutritious meals a day and a safe place to sleep at night, he turned his attention to going back to school and finding steady work.

Today, Josh has a part-time job, is a full-time student and, perhaps most important, is taking back control of his life.

Because you made his success possible, Josh wants you to know,

“I will never forget you. The love and support you gave me will forever stay in my heart.”

It’s because of your generosity that Josh is living drug-free, and care-free. Isn’t it amazing the difference your kindness makes?

Reporting from STREET TEENS, Las Vegas, Nevada


Without your support, these students’ hands-on cooking class would have been eliminated.

How you became this teacher's best friend

Heidi Leineweber is a school teacher who’s not afraid of a fight…at least when that fight has to do with the education her students receive.

For Leineweber, who is constantly faced with dwindling school budgets, it’s not about cutting the core classes like math, English and science. It’s more about how to keep important electives that give kids real-world experience, like food programs and auto and metal shop.

“Hands-on learning is one of the most effective methods of teaching,” Leineweber says.

“For many vulnerable children, these classes provide skills they’ll carry with them throughout their lifetime.”

That’s one reason why Leineweber is so excited about the support you have offered her students at Franklin High School in Portland. Because of you, classes like her popular food program are not only off the chopping block, but thriving.

“Together, we are keeping children in school where they belong, we are continuing to raise the graduation rate, and we are developing children to be confident, self-reliant, and ready to tackle life in this ever-changing century we live in.”

The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow. And because of your generosity, they’re being equipped to face the challenges of the future head-on, in both creative and innovative ways.

Thank you for strengthening families, and showing them a future that can be filled with hope.

Reporting from FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL, Portland, Oregon


You came to their rescue … and turned this family’s despair into joy.

Last Christmas, Consuelo and her kids found a new holiday hero: YOU!

Imagine how difficult it would be if you couldn’t provide Christmas presents for your kids. On top of that, imagine not having anyplace to stay, and facing the real possibility of your family spending Christmas Eve in your car with four kids squeezed into the back seat.

That was the horrible prospect Consuelo and her husband, Carlos, were facing last December…until you came to their rescue and turned this family’s despair into joy, just in time for Christmas morning!

Your kindness not only provided them with a week’s stay at a local motel — so they had a warm, dry place to enjoy the holidays — but also armloads of toys for the kids.

Consuelo and Carlos have now gone back to work and are supporting themselves. But they will always remember Christmas 2013. Because what could have been a disaster turned out to be a celebration they’ll never forget. All because of your compassion.

Reporting from THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN’S FUND, Mount Vernon, Washington


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