Neighbors in Need

Neighbors in Need Header

 

At this time of the year I am usually working to organize our annual community service day for our office. Instead, I am making at home videos about social media tips and tricks to help our Brokers spread the word about our drive called Neighbors in Need.

 

As we all start to live with new norms and adapt to living through a pandemic, our office had to make a number of changes along with the rest of the world. Our office has been closed and we are all working from home, but our company still wanted to keep our community service day tradition alive. So all the Windermere offices are participating in a fundraiser to support our local food banks. Please read the article below about our Neighbors in Need drive!

 

-Kiley Koehler | Northgate Office

 


 

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected populations across the globe, but those who struggle with poverty and count on food programs to meet their basic day-to-day needs are in an especially uncertain place. While coping with increased demand and a bottlenecked pipeline of food supply, food banks are desperate for funds to continue to serve their communities. Because of this, Windermere decided to challenge its offices to raise $250,000, every dollar of which would be matched by the Windermere Foundation and donated to food banks in the areas where Windermere operates. We titled it the “Neighbors in Need” fundraising campaign.

 

Neighbors in Need kicked off on April 21, with the goal of raising $250,000 by May 5. As word continued to spread, online donations and contributions from both our agents and the public began to increase. Neighbors in Need was given a boost by Seattle Seahawks starting safety Quandre Diggs in a heartfelt message encouraging support. Over the final 24 hours, leading up to the May 5 deadline, support poured in from across the Windermere family as the final figure exceeded the initial goal of $500,000, landing at a total of $690,000.  

 

Neighbors in Need exemplifies Windermere’s deep commitment to supporting our local communities, which traces back to 1989 when the Windermere Foundation first started. Since then, we’ve proudly raised more than $41 million for low-income and homeless families throughout the Western U.S.  

 

On behalf of the Windermere Foundation to all those who joined the effort: Thank you. We could not have made this large of an impact without your help. We are humbled to be able to do our part to help those who need it most during these uncertain times.

 

 


Posted on May 13, 2020 at 9:35 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Fund Raising, Windermere Foundation |

Feed the Front Lines

Feed the Front Lines Header

 

Since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak in Western Washington, Windermere agents have been living a core company value: being “citizen-agents” and serving as a “central part of the fabric of the community.” Although residential real estate was declared an essential business (with limitations) during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy shutdown, brokers have shifted their focus from transactions to community service.

 

Following the company’s recommended practice of “go slow and do no harm,” agents across Seattle and the Eastside have stepped up to answer the calls of not only their clients but also first responders, healthcare workers and others serving on the front lines.

 

Examples abound of our agents’ incredible commitment to their communities. Here are just a handful of the myriad efforts that Windermere brokers and staff have undertaken. 

 

Early on in the local COVID-19 outbreak, which disproportionately impacted emergency services at EvergreenHealth, the brokers of Windermere East Inc. collectively started a drive to “feed the front lines.”

 

Feed the Front Lines food donations

Agents and staff generously contributed money and time to purchase meals from local restaurants and deliver them to emergency, critical care, clinic, and other essential hospital staff at facilities in Kirkland and Redmond.

 

Julie Taylor of the Bellevue West office, helped spearhead the drive, teaming up with other Windermere brokers to research the Evergreen staff’s favorite restaurants, place orders and deliver meals. To date, more than 30 brokers have helped deliver meals and more from Royal India, Jones BBQ, Thai Kitchen, Cactus, Pomegranate Bistro and Lisa Dupar Catering, Cafe Paradisio, Café Veloce and Mercurys Coffee Co.

 

In a time of tremendous uncertainty, generosity and gratitude shine bright through this project, which quickly established a treasured and trusted partnership – not just between businesses, but between individuals caring for one another in a time of need.

 

The initiative was a resounding success, raising over $20,000 and providing over 1300 individual meals, to date.

Feed the Front lines food donations

 

Ron Upshaw and Don O’Neill, brokers at Windermere Midtown’s Lakeview office and local radio personalities, partnered with Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, founder of the Refugee Artisan Initiative, to personally deliver handmade masks to first responders and healthcare workers who were experiencing critical shortages of protective gear.

 

The Initiative’s mission is “to transform the lives of refugee and immigrant women by providing sustainable work in sewing and handcrafting products.” While their production lines normally focus on handmade jewelry and fabric home goods, Ming-Ming quickly shifted focus to sew masks in support of the 100 Million Mask Challenge launched by Providence.  

 

Ron and Don amplified Ming-Ming’s efforts and her GoFundMe page, and have served as her diligent delivery drivers to drop off hundreds of masks across the region.

 

Feed the front lines PPE drive

 

Even while working remotely, the brokers of Windermere Real Estate / Seattle Northwest kept up their tradition of contributing “Pig Dollars” into a piggy bank at the start of every business meeting “for good karma and just because.” This time via Zoom instead of in-person, they came together and collectively filled a virtual piggy bank. In just five minutes, they donated $1,100 to support North Helpline’s food banks and emergency services.

 

The six Seattle offices of Windermere Real Estate Co. have long been intertwined in their neighborhoods and the Seattle community as a whole. When COVID-19 began to impact the caseload and safety of the medical professionals at UW Neighborhood Clinics, brokers swiftly took action. They started a drive to purchase and deliver two lunches per week to the entire staff at UW’s five in-city clinics.

 

They partnered with James Beard Foundation award winner, chef Renee Erickson, and her restaurant, The Whale Wins, who will make the delicious, individually wrapped meals. The drive, which is ongoing, has a goal of raising $19,000 to provide over 1200 lunches. 

 

 

 


Posted on April 14, 2020 at 8:01 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Community, Fund Raising |

Windermere Foundation Reaches $40 Million

Windermere Foundation reaches 40M Header

 

As we head into a new decade, the Windermere Foundation reached a milestone in 2019 by raising nearly $3 million, bringing the grand total to over $40 million in donations raised since 1989.

 

Twenty-five percent of the funds raised in 2019 were donated by agents from their commissions. The rest was raised through office fundraisers, additional giving by owners, agents, and staff, and public donations. These dollars stay local, as each Windermere Real Estate office has their own Foundation funds, supporting low-income and homeless families in the communities where offices do business.

 

One office that celebrated a milestone of its own this past year is the Windermere office in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The Coeur d’Alene office became a part of the Windermere network in 1994. In 1996, the office hosted its first annual “Boots and Socks for Kids” event by purchasing and donating 47 pairs of boots and socks to Coeur d’Alene Children Village and St. Vincent DePaul. Since then, the office has donated a total of 12,546 pairs of boots and socks to children in the 40 area schools and local agencies that provide services to low-income or homeless families.

 

In 2019, Windermere Coeur d’Alene reached a milestone of $1 million total donated to support local non-profits. Organizations that have received donations include CAP Food Bank, Family Promise, CASA, Shared Harvest, St. Vincent DePaul North Idaho, Union Gospel Mission, and United Way of North Idaho, to name just a few. Safe Passage and The Children’s Village of Coeur d’Alene are two non-profits that receive support from the office annually.

 

Last year also marked the fourth year of Windermere’s #TackleHomelessness campaign with the Seattle Seahawks, in which Windermere committed to donating $100 for every Seahawks home game defensive tackle. This year Windermere partnered with Mary’s Place, a non-profit that provides safe, inclusive shelter and services to support women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness. Thanks to the Seahawks, we raised $30,000 this season for Mary’s Place, bringing our grand total to $128,200 raised through our #TackleHomelessness campaign.

 

We are proud of the fundraising efforts made by the Windermere team and are grateful to all who have supported the Windermere Foundation over the years. Because of that support and generosity, we have been able to make a difference in the lives of many families in our local communities over the past 30 years. And we look forward to supporting even more families in 2020.  

 

To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit https://windermerefoundation.com/.

 

 

 


Posted on January 29, 2020 at 7:55 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Fund Raising, Windermere Foundation |

Northgate Holiday Party

Northgate Holiday Party Header

 

Northate Holiday Party brokers

My personal favorite time of year is the holidays – our office strives on giving back to our community through various events and fundraisers. It’s beautiful; it brings a warmth to the chilly December days that darken too quickly. Our brokers’ financial generosity is overwhelming and deeply appreciated, but we tend to ask them for one more donation in the much more festive form of attending our annual Northgate Holiday Party.

 

 

Our past parties have been at pubs or wineries, but this year we decided to forego the fanciness and bring the party straight to our office. We crowdfunded to have mouth-watering hor’dourves from Arista catering that included coconut shrimp, Mediterranean skewers, polenta crostini, stuffed mushrooms, and more. Our largest conference room was converted to a wintery Bake-Off Competition, with Janet Irons taking 1st place. In addition, we filled a tin Santa with chocolates & cash and hid him deep in our fake office plant in the lobby – Damian Gibbs, husband of our broker Marian Gibbs, was successful in spotting him and claiming victory.

 

HOliday Party images

 

The sheer amount of decorating we undertook to create the holiday ambiance took weeks…and weeks.  In the end, we used 40+ boxes of lights, 5 Christmas trees (one of them was donated by Jason Viydo and stood over 17ft tall!), 10+ centerpieces, 3 themed conference rooms, a winter photo area, laser lights, a karaoke stage, and countless handmade decorations and paper lanterns. We hung curtains to cover the business aspects of the office and we hid all of the computers & printers out of sight. It was no longer a Real Estate office – this was the North Pole.

 

 

It was truly a sight to behold; Frank Sinatra’s smooth holiday hits played from every speaker, our brokers and their loved ones came dressed in their finest attire, and we were able to sit back and reap the benefits of our hard labor. People ate, drank, sang, danced, mingled, drank, and by the end of the night when I’d enjoyed the evening and could no longer find my shoes, the brokers told us one by one that it was one of the best holiday parties in memory. I have to agree with them – there was an astounding sense of comfort and joy in surrounding ourselves with the people we love in a recognizable yet drastically changed environment. This party will go in the books and be fondly remembered.

 

 

 


Posted on December 6, 2019 at 7:37 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Event, Office Shenanigans |

We Got You Covered & TackleHomelessness Drive

We Got you Covered Drive for Marys Place

 

Every Fall our office participates in the We Got You Covered campaign; collecting hats, gloves, coats, and scarves to donate to the Homeless. Through out the past few years we have partnered with both Youthcare and Mary’s Place to help them meet there needs when the weather turns cold in Seattle. Here is a great article from our Windermere Foundation with more information on this great drive and our partnership with the Seattle Seahawks. GO HAWKS!

 

-Kiley Koehler | Northgate Office

 


 

It’s another fall season and the fourth year of Windermere’s #TackleHomelessness campaign with the Seattle Seahawks. As a part of this campaign, Windermere hosts an annual “We’ve Got You Covered” winter drive. This year, 33 Windermere offices in in the greater Seattle area* participated in the drive, collecting new hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, socks, and other warm winter items for Mary’s Place.  

 

Mary’s Place is a non-profit that provides safe, inclusive shelter and services to support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness. Since 1999, Mary’s Place has helped hundreds of women and families move out of homelessness into more stable situations. But shelter capacity is limited and there are still hundreds of families sleeping outside in cars and tents each night, so Windermere collected items to help them stay warm this winter.

 

During the four-week drive, our offices collected donations from agents, staff, and the community, which included over 630 hats, 680 pairs of gloves, over 200 scarves, over 2,000 pairs of socks, and an assortment of coats, jackets, sweaters, blankets, toiletries and other items, bringing our grand total to nearly 6,000 items collected for Mary’s Place.

 

One office made the drive extra special by partnering with a local knitting group. The Windermere Mercer Island office partnered once again with the Mercer Island Tuesday Knitters, to make cozy hats and scarves. This year the knitting group contributed 67 hand-knitted hats and scarves to the winter drive.

 

The staff at the Mary’s Place donation center in South Seattle were grateful to receive the bins full of donated items that were delivered by Gentle Giant Moving Company. “We are so incredibly grateful to our Windermere family for all that they do for our families!” said Marty Hartman, Mary’s Place Executive Director. “These gifts of warm winter gear will keep our kids and families warm and loved this winter!”

 

Windermere is also grateful to partner with Gentle Giant Moving Company on our winter drive. For the past four years, they have generously given their time, muscle, and trucks to pick up and deliver all of the donations.

 

And this drive would not be possible each year without the support of the Seattle Seahawks, our offices, and all those who donated. From all of us at Windermere, thank you for making our fourth annual winter drive a success and for supporting families experiencing homelessness in the greater Seattle area!

 

We Got You Covered Drive Information

 

During the four-week drive, our offices collected donations from agents, staff, and the community, which included over 630 hats, 680 pairs of gloves, over 200 scarves, over 2,000 pairs of socks, and an assortment of coats, jackets, sweaters, blankets, toiletries and other items, bringing our grand total to nearly 6,000 items collected for Mary’s Place.

 

One office made the drive extra special by partnering with a local knitting group. The Windermere Mercer Island office partnered once again with the Mercer Island Tuesday Knitters, to make cozy hats and scarves. This year the knitting group contributed 67 hand-knitted hats and scarves to the winter drive.

 

The staff at the Mary’s Place donation center in South Seattle were grateful to receive the bins full of donated items that were delivered by Gentle Giant Moving Company. “We are so incredibly grateful to our Windermere family for all that they do for our families!” said Marty Hartman, Mary’s Place Executive Director. “These gifts of warm winter gear will keep our kids and families warm and loved this winter!”

 

Windermere is also grateful to partner with Gentle Giant Moving Company on our winter drive. For the past four years, they have generously given their time, muscle, and trucks to pick up and deliver all of the donations.

 

And this drive would not be possible each year without the support of the Seattle Seahawks, our offices, and all those who donated. From all of us at Windermere, thank you for making our fourth annual winter drive a success and for supporting families experiencing homelessness in the greater Seattle area!

 

 

 

 


Posted on November 18, 2019 at 11:22 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Fund Raising, Windermere Foundation |

4th Annual Putt Putt Championship

Northgate Putt Putt 4th Annual Championship

 

When the leaves have changed and the breeze feels crisp, our brokers, having anxiously subdued their competition bug for 10 months, know the time has arrived for the 4th Annual Halloween Putt Putt Championship. The greens are placed, the courses are set, and the party begins! It wouldn’t be a Halloween party without the awkwardly minimal participation in costumes, so the usual four of us who decide to don our garb chose “Decades” as the theme; can you guess what decades we represent?

 

 

Our brokers anticipate this event every year, as we have plenty of avid golfers and no shortage of friendly banter, while the staff pride themselves in creating obstacle courses out of common office supplies. We also collect a $5 buy-in to be donated to the Windermere Foundation. While we split in teams to play, others mingle to the kitchen and gorge on all the dishes brought for the potluck: caprese skewers, chicken curry salad, pot pies, guacamole, jalapeno egg bake, four-tier cake, fresh caught salmon, even Ezell’s, Domino’s, & Taco Bell – there are no limits!

 

 

Ultimately, the coveted Putt Putt Trophy was awarded to Jason Viydo after he tore through the courses with ease (see avid golfer), but the rest of us plebeians who don’t visit the green on the weekly still had a wonderful time. Aside from the fun of putt putt, we value our opportunities to gather, wisecrack, and bond, giving us all a chance to step away from work, take a slow, deep breath, and verbally bombard each other with claims of cheating.

 

Northgate Office playing Putt Putt

 

 


Posted on October 31, 2019 at 6:44 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Event, Fund Raising, Office Shenanigans |

Community Service Day at Mary’s Place

Northgate office community Service day at marys place

 

This year for community service day we were excited to partner again with Mary’s Place. We love working with Mary’s Place and being able to give back to a local Non-Profit. We had the opportunity to work at two different locations this year the Shoreline location we had visited in 2018, and the North Seattle Family Center for the first time.

 

 

A small group of volunteers went to the Shoreline location to do a good sprucing up. Volunteers washed and cleaned the front living spaces, as well as deep cleaning the kitchen. They also re-organized and sorted food.

 

 

Northgate office Volunteering at Marys Place

Our second group of volunteers were at the North Seattle Family Center, and organized donations and cleaned the outside of the location. This Mary’s place location takes clothing donations for families so we split up and a group of volunteers were inside re-organizing all of the clothing donations. The other group was working outside weeding and maintaining the outside of the property. We even decided to make a fun video of us planting some weeds!!

 

We had a great day learning all about Mary’s Place, there different locations, and how each one provides services specific to the communities needs in that area. We even got to chat with people at the location about there experiences and had passers by stop and thank us for our service.

 

 

If you would like to learn more about Mary’s Place click on their logo above or go to www.marysplaceseattle.org

 

 

 

 


Posted on June 7, 2019 at 7:58 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Community Service, Event |

30 Years of Giving

30 years of Giving with the Windermere Foundation

 

I have been working at Windermere for about 5 years and have been so proud to work with a company and coworkers who are dedicated to giving back to our community. For every home sold our brokers give to the Windermere Foundation and those funds are used for grants, community events, and drives to give back to the local areas we live and work in.  Below is an article from our Windermere Foundation about all we have been able to accomplish so far.

-Kiley Koehler | Northgate Office

 


 

Giving back has always been a big part of who we are at Windermere. In the early days of our company, it was pretty simple; we would see a need and help any way we could. But as we grew, we realized we could accomplish much more if we had a common purpose. That’s how the Windermere Foundation was born.

 

A big idea

We started with an idea that would give every Windermere agent the ability to make a difference. Housing is our business, so helping homeless families seemed like a natural fit. We later expanded that to include low-income families, with an emphasis on helping children.

 

Every time a home is sold

For the past 30 years, a portion of every Windermere agent’s commission has been donated to the Windermere Foundation. Having 100% participation gives us a common purpose and sends a powerful message about our commitment to the community.

 

Who we help

Last year alone we provided funding to more than 500 organizations throughout the Western U.S. Homeless shelters, food banks, schools, hospitals, community centers, parks; the list goes on. The main thing that they all have in common is a deep devotion to helping our neighbors in need.

 

How we help

Our agents have proven time and time again how committed they are to making their communities a better place to live. Their generosity funds backpacks full of food so school kids don’t go hungry on the weekends. They help keep families in their homes by covering housing costs. And their donations make sure the homeless are getting their most basic needs met, and the dignity that goes with it.

 

Thank you

If at any point during the past 30 years you’ve bought or sold a home using a Windermere agent, you are a part of the Windermere Foundation too, and you’ve helped make a positive difference in your community. And for that, we thank you on behalf of everyone at Windermere.

 

If you would like to learn more about the Windermere Foundation, please visit windermerefoundation.com.

 

 

 

 


Posted on February 28, 2019 at 6:39 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Community, Fund Raising, Windermere Foundation |

3rd Annual Putt Putt Championship

Northgate Putt Putt championship 2018 header

 

2018 was the year of our third annual putt-putt golf championship. This is one of our favorite events to hold at the office and 2018 was our best yet! As always we picked a organization to donate to for the golf buy in; this year we choose the Windermere Foundation.

 

 

Northgate Putt Putt 2018 Poster & staff hobbit costume

We love to encourage the agents and staff to dress up for our Halloween themed putt-putt course and we were not disappointed this year. The staff went all out dressing up as characters from The Hobbit, and we had a surprise appearance from Pikachu, who had to catch up on some emails before he golfed.

 

 

Every year we try to add some new features to make the golf course new and exciting each year for agents. This year we tried to spook things up even more by adding a haunted windmill for people to play through. We had quite a few agents participate, and had a stiff competition this year! But we had a new winner this year with Winston McClanahan being the 3rd Annual Putt-Putt Champion!

 

 

 


Posted on October 31, 2018 at 6:32 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Event, Fund Raising, Office Shenanigans |

Shredding & Recycling Event

Shredding & Recycling Event Header

 

If you put off your spring cleaning till fall, or you are just in the mood to de-clutter your home; our Northgate office is here for you! Every fall we use our office raised funds to pay for a free community event, The Recycling & Shredding event.

 

 

For half of the morning we hire Interconnections to bring out a large van to collect  electronics you would like to recycle. They take almost everything so we accept any of your old, broken, or unwanted appliances and dodads. Interconnection is a Seattle based organization that refurbish donated technology and then donate or sell to low income families.  They’re goal is to create opportunity through access to technology. Also they personally guarantee that any personal information left on your devices will be wiped! 

 

 

To fill up our parking lot even more, we also hired Confidential Data Disposal to come shred boxes and boxes of paper for three straight hours. That truck was loud but it was pretty cool process to watch as you fill up the can and see the arm of the truck pick, lift, and flip all that paper into a giant shredder.  It defiantly was a great opportunity to get rid of any boxes of taxes, personal documents or large amounts of paper you have no need for. Offering a secure and safe way to make sure your documents are shredded right before your eyes.

 

 

The whole morning went off  really great, with only a few traffic snafus. We had a great turn out and loved reconnecting with those in our community over coffee and snacks. Hope to see you all again next year for the next Shredding and Recycling event!

 

Northgate Shred & recycle event images

 

 

 


Posted on October 13, 2018 at 6:08 pm
Northgate Office | Posted in Community, Event, Office Shenanigans |