Another Successful Back-to-School Drive Supporting Youth in Foster Care
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
by: Alison Turnbull, Kirkpatrick & Startzel & Danielle McKenzie, Betts Patterson & Mines

Section: Summer 2022

The worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, with students back in the classroom and members of the Washington Bar returning to the office. Nevertheless, the changes brought about by the pandemic continue to affect our lives, and many members of the Washington Bar continue to work remotely. Accordingly, Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) continued to show its ongoing commitment to Treehouse’s annual back-to-school drive through a combined conventional format (i.e., collecting donations of backpacks and school supplies) and virtual format (i.e., cash donations through Treehouse’s website). Since 1988, Treehouse has been Washington’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the academic gap between youth in foster care and their peers.

Thanks to WDTL’s support, youth in foster care in Washington will start off the school year with the necessary tools to achieve academic success. WDTL members donated $2,610, more than 120 backpacks, and over 12 boxes of school supplies to Treehouse. Youth in foster care obtain these school supplies through coupons provided to the youth and their foster parents, which can be redeemed at the Treehouse store. This system enables foster youth, like their peers, to choose their own backpacks and school supplies for the upcoming school year.

While WDTL did not have an official contest for this year’s drive, we would like to recognize our major donors: Preg O’Donnell (72 backpacks), Forsberg & Umlauf (23 backpacks), Betts, Patterson & Mines, (15 backpacks), Summit Law (10 backpacks), and Richard Martens, who donated $1,050. WDTL also gives a shout-out to Advanced Medical Group, Inc., which assisted with picking up donations and delivering them to the WDTL Community Service and Pro Bono Committee member who delivered them to Treehouse.

This year, WDTL also donated to Unity in the Community, an organization in the Spokane area that has an annual school supply drive. Having seen the generosity WDTL has with Treehouse, we hope to grow support for youth in the Spokane area with Unity in the Community in coming years.
If you are interested in joining WDTL’s Community Service and Pro Bono Committee, or learning about other community service opportunities, please contact Guari Locker, Committee Chair, at