This past Tuesday, twelve-hundred of Treehouse’s biggest supporters gathered at the Seattle Sheraton for our 14th Annual Champions for Foster Kids Luncheon.
Thanks to event co-chairs Jill Ashton, Maria Olagunju, Steve Petersen, and Events Manager Shaunessy Jones, attendees learned more about the powerful work we do and were inspired to give generously. Together, we raised more than a million dollars to invest in the bright futures of youth in foster care.
The event kicked off with Governance Board Member and event co-chair, Steve Petersen, who shared how his own experience in the foster care system as a young child motivated him to give back to Treehouse as a successful adult.
Treehouse’s Associate Director of Education Programs, Angela Griffin, shared exciting preliminary results from our Graduation Success program, while Education Specialist, Alexandria Cornell, moved the crowd with her own story of triumph over the trauma she faced as a child in foster care.
I am especially thankful for Almiesha, Anthony, and Lea, our three brave Treehouse students who shared their moving stories with us during the event. Their words of strength, resilience and determination inspired us to make an incredible difference together.
Here at Treehouse, we are so fortunate to work with a number of individuals, organizations, and businesses, all of whom share a common goal of making a lasting impact on the children Treehouse serves. I had the pleasure of recognizing three of these heroic partners and volunteers at the luncheon.
The Wendy Walters Truitt Champions for Foster Kids Award is given each year to volunteers who go above and beyond all reasonable expectations. This year, the award was given to the employees of Revel Consulting, who have tirelessly donated their services to help Treehouse build and execute strategic initiatives and refine our management practices.
The Corporate Partner Award was presented to longtime Treehouse supporter, Microsoft. From donations of funds, software, and hardware, to the opportunity to bring groups of Treehouse students to the Microsoft campus for a day of exploration, Microsoft employees continue to amaze us with their passion and generosity.
The Community Partner Award went to our friends at Carter Subaru, who have invested in kids in foster care through multiple initiatives, including hosting donation drives, volunteering in our Wearhouse, and most recently, identifying Treehouse as their local partner for the Subaru “Share the Love” event, where customers who purchased new Subaru over the holiday season were able to select Treehouse as a recipient for a $250 donation from Subaru.
For those of you who were able to join us and for all supporters, thank you for being leaders in this work. You are each changing the lives of kids in foster care.
About the author: Janis Avery has led Treehouse since 1995. As CEO, Janis devotes her time to promoting educational equity for youth in foster care through advocacy for systems change, ensuring integrated strategy and accountability, maximizing community collaboration, and resource development. Janis has dedicated her life to improving the circumstances of children in foster care, both in her professional capacity as a social worker and in her own home, as the parent of two children adopted from foster care.
Each year, thousands of people contribute to making the Wearhouse, our free store for youth and families, a clean, organized, and pleasant place to shop for youth in foster care and their families. We’d like to introduce you to two of these committed volunteers, Karisse Hendrick and her 11-year-old daughter, Jordyn.
During National Foster Care Month, we’ve made it easy for you to encourage your online networks to learn more about youth in foster care and join Treehouse in supporting them.