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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
*Participating Windermere offices:
Bellevue, Bellevue Commons, Bellevue West, Federal Way, Federal Way-West Campus, Kent, Kirkland, Kirkland Yarrow Bay, Lynnwood, Mercer Island, Mill Creek, Property Management – Bellevue, Property Management – Edmonds, Property Management-Everett, Property Management – Seattle North, Property Management – South, Redmond, Seattle-Eastlake, Seattle-Green Lake, Seattle-Greenwood, Seattle-Lakeview, Seattle-Madison Park, Seattle-Mount Baker, Seattle-Northgate, Seattle-Northwest, Seattle-Pike/Pine, Seattle-Queen Anne, Seattle-Sand Point, Seattle-Wall Street, Seattle-West Seattle, Services Company, Shoreline, Snohomish
This post originally appeared on the Windermere.com Blog