Windermere/CDA Realty Foundation passes $1 million mark in giving back to the community
By Abigail Thorpe
Photos Courtesy of Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty
Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty goes beyond helping people find their dream home—the team of 150 is actively involved in making the community a better place by supporting nonprofit organizations who help homeless and needy families in their communities.
For 27 years, Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty has been volunteering hours and funds to support children and families in the area who are in need. From food banks to homeless shelters, the Red Cross, women’s centers and much more, team members of Windermere have committed to helping—whatever that looks like.
“Since that time we have given over $1 million to local organizations that support the homeless and low income right here in our backyard,” says Foundation Co-Chair Dick Jurvelin.
This year, the team reached a milestone of giving back over $1 million in funds to the Coeur d’Alene community. To be exact, $1,080,224.10 to date has been given to 59 different agencies in the area, including Children’s Village, CASA, United Way, St. Vincent de Paul Transitional Center, Safe Passage and so many more.
The Windermere Foundation was founded in 1989 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization created for the purpose of raising and distributing funds to support programs and organizations that provide shelter, food, children’s programs, emergency assistance and other services to those in need.
The program started as a grassroots foundation in Washington state 31 years ago but has since grown to include offices and organizations in 10 states, and has given over $41 million to nonprofits and programs to help children and families in need.
Every time an agent sells a home, a portion of the commission goes into the Windermere Foundation Fund, which is further expanded through voluntary employee and community contributions.
The original Windermere team was committed to making a difference and giving back in any way they could, but they soon realized an even greater difference could be made if they had a common purpose, and so the Windermere Foundation was born.
“We started with an idea that would give every Windermere agent the ability to make a difference,” states the foundation site. “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 single team member of Windermere Realty commits to giving back, meaning there is 100 percent participation and the message is clear: Windermere cares about the people and places they live.
In over 30 years the foundation has made a difference in thousands of lives, supporting over 550 organizations.
Coeur d’Alene Realty affiliated with Windermere Real Estate in 1993. “Recognizing that our culture of giving back to the community through philanthropy and service was in alignment with Windermere, we were proud to unite with the Windermere Foundation,” explains Patricia Krug, co-owner and designated broker for Windermere Coeur d'Alene Realty.
Each member of the Coeur d’Alene team is completely committed and passionate about the difference they make every year, with every single home sale they transact. “We love our community!” smiles Krug. “The commitment that each of our 150 agents, our staff and our leadership makes to support the efforts of the foundation enhances our corporate culture by bonding a group of people who share a commitment to service and who share a pride in making our community a better place for everyone.”
Each agent with the company pledges to donate a portion of each commission to the foundation. “So, as they stay busy helping people buy and sell real estate, they are funding the foundation daily!” she adds.
Every year the team participates in a Community Service Day when they get hands on in helping the nonprofits and organizations they support monetarily. Combined, they have provided hundreds of volunteer hours at the Children’s Village, doing lawn work, painting, spring cleaning, and even building sheds, shelving, playground equipment, pathways and fencing.
The foundation is prudent about making sure funds are going to organizations that are in line with the foundation’s mission and supporting those most in need. Every individual Windermere office is free to decide how they want to distribute funds to the community, and various offices have helped support school lunch and afterschool programs, housing assistance for homeless families, food banks, homeless shelters and nonprofits that provide basic necessities, such as shoes, clothing, toiletries and blankets to families in need.
Every year agents from each of the three Coeur d’Alene offices volunteer their time to review grant applications. The grant has to meet a certain criteria before the committee will vote to move the application for funding to the agents for a vote. Namely, the program or organization needs to provide shelter, food, children’s programs, emergency assistance or other services to those in need.
Once the application is voted through by the committee, it moves on to a vote by the company real estate agents. Votes are taken weekly at the sales meeting and involve all agents in attendance.
Since their start with the foundation 27 years ago, the Coeur d’Alene team has provided funds to purchase boots and socks for 12,456 low income children in the community. Last year alone, the company raised over $67,000. Eighty percent of the money collected came from voluntary additional donations from agents, the community, and office fundraisers.
In 2019, 30 percent of money gifted went to providing boots and socks for youth; 23 percent went toward emergency assistance; 19 percent went to education and counseling; 18 percent was allocated to shelter; and 6 and 4 percent were used for youth programs and scholarships.
Windermere/CDA Realty was named Idaho’s Brightest Star Business, a statewide award given by the governor to acknowledge a business, large or small, that has made a positive difference in its community. They are the only real estate company to receive this award—an honor that the team doesn’t take lightly.
Looking to the end of 2020, the Windermere Foundation continues to grow and expand its commitment to helping the communities it lives, works and plays in. Coeur d’Alene is one such part of a larger foundation that has made a remarkable impact on its own community—and continues to do so. It’s part of what makes this home—our home—such a wonderful place to live.
If you would like to make a donation to the Windermere Foundation, you can contact your Windermere agent, drop it off at the office or mail it to:
Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty
1000 Northwest Blvd.
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
Organizations who are interested in applying for a grant can access an application on the web page at CDARealty.com.