Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
I was first introduced to Treehouse for Foster kids www.treehouseforkids.org/ 15 years ago, by my dear friend, Marta Dalla Gasperina. Marta and her husband, Lucio were founders of the Tommy Bahama clothing line. Together, they spearheaded a program that allowed foster kids a full ride through college. Marta also shared the need to donate clothes to the Treehouse warehouse and told me I could drop off gently used items that my rapidly growing son no longer fit. I attended the annual fundraising luncheon as a quest of Marta, and when I heard stories of kids in the system, one 12 year old boy had to wear his sisters stirrup pants to school, because he didn’t have any of his own. At that moment, I knew I had to get involved. I was so impressed when I saw the tightly run organization, I was eager to do more. Helping children in need has always been a passion of mine, and I hadn’t quite found a fit on how I might make a difference. Treehouse became my answer.
I suppose, it was destiny, because as a young child, my mother had a dear friend and everyone called her Grandma Ella, who was a foster mom. When my mom would drop me off for play dates in Grandma Ella’s sprawling Madrona back yard, it never resonated with me that my “play” cousins, Danny, Torian, Pam, Cindy. Leslie and Jake didn’t have parents of their own. It didn’t register that although they were of various ethnicity, age, religion, or creed, Grandma Ella was home and mother to all. That was my first glimpse at what foster parenting was all about. When Leslie’s mom got out of rehab and found solid footing, we all cried when she had to go back home. But Grandma Ella had done her job, giving a nourishing, safe, secure home while Leslie’s mom was being treated.That is what Treehouse is all about, giving kids in foster care a childhood and a future.
I will never forget those days at Grandma Ella’s house. The pancakes were piping hot off the griddle for Sunday breakfast, and she always seemed to make her meager ends meet. But, I clearly remember the holiday seasons and how sparse their Christmas was. This was long before Treehouse existed, so Grandma Ella was left to support her brood on a stipend from the state.
I believe paying witness to those days instilled in me that one day, I would do what I could to make a difference.
This Wednesday, December 11, at 6 pm at the Palisade Alani Room, I am asking you all to join me and help make a difference!
Please bring an unwrapped gift for any age Foster kid. A Tonka toy, gift card, or sweater, anything will do! We will have 12 vendors representing all districts in Seattle with something for everyone on your shopping list. Vendors will each donate a percentage of proceeds to Treehouse. There will be gift wrappers, plenty of vino, the best raffle baskets ever, DJ Hitman playing our favorite old school tunes, time to mix and mingle, connect with old friends and make new. I promise you a good time! Best of all, from our hearts to their homes, we will put a smile on a child’s face come Christmas Morn.
With my co-chair Ashley O’Connor McCreedy at the October 2013 Treehouse for Foster Kids 25th Anniversary Gala! We raised over $500,000. Together, we can make a difference!