WDTL Helps Foster Youth
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
by: Community Service & Pro Bono Committee

Section: Fall 2019

While most members of the Washington Bar were dealing with the daily demands of practicing law or taking time off to enjoy the one month of guaranteed sunshine in the Pacific Northwest, this past August Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) rolled up their sleeves and gathered school supplies and backpacks for Treehouse.  Founded in 1988, Treehouse is Washington’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the academic gap between youth in foster care and their peers.   

Treehouse helps 7,000 youth in foster care through programs that help them succeed in school, fulfill key material needs, and provide important childhood experiences every child deserves. 

In this year’s back to school drive, WDTL added a competitive incentive by offering a pizza party to the firm or person who donated the most backpacks.  WDTL members collectively donated three carloads of school supplies (consisting of crayons, pens, glue sticks, folders, notebooks, loose-leaf paper, pens, calculators, etc.) and a total of 272 backpacks. Through WDTL’s donations, foster youth not only went back to school in style this fall with cool new backpacks, but they were also provided the necessary tools to be successful in the classroom.         
Congratulations to Forsberg & Umlauf for donating the most backpacks and thank you Physician Direct Services for providing the pizza party.  Bravo to Carrie Cook, a legal assistant at Betts, Patterson Mines, for donating the most backpacks as an individual.  “Best in Show” goes to ExamWorks which does independent medical examinations, peer and bill reviews, and case management.  ExamWorks donated a Victoria Secret backpack which had all the sparkle and glam one would expect from this infamous retailer.  Kudos to Preg O’Donnell & Gillett for donating the most school supplies and a special shout out to those who donated soccer gear to this year’s drive. 

Finally, an honorary mention goes to Heather who is not a lawyer and has no affiliation with WDTL.  Heather donated a large bag of school supplies that included several calculators and two backpacks.  When asked how Heather even knew about WDTL’s back to school drive, Heather simply responded that she wanted to help contribute to the success and future of foster youth.  In speaking further with Heather, she shared that she comes from somewhat limited means, but supporting the back to school drive for Treehouse was important.  Heather’s kindness and giving spirit epitomize what the back to school drive is all about.  So, hats off to Heather and her desire to help foster youth and all the WDTL members who supported this year’s back to school drive for Treehouse.