Home for the Holidays
This time of year always reminds me that what is most important in our lives is home and family. And home and family are at the heart of the work we do through the Freddie Mac Foundation and our charitable investments.
At Freddie Mac, we play a critical role in creating stable homes and neighborhoods for America's families. Our Foundation, sustained by its endowment, and our corporate giving and employee volunteer programs are focused on those very same goals. We concentrate our charitable efforts in Freddie Mac's backyard, the National Capital Region. Amidst the housing crisis and economic downturn – during a time of change at Freddie Mac – our commitment to the community has not wavered.
Looking back at 2009, we made a difference for children and families in some extraordinary ways. I encourage you to visit our "Year in Photos" slideshow to see some of the families whose lives we've helped change.
Just in time for the holidays, Nakia Hargrove and her four children moved out of public housing into their own home – one that Freddie Mac employees helped build through our Habitat for Humanity partnership. This year we helped build the 51st home in the Hargrove's new neighborhood. These homes are owned by lower-income, working families looking for a better future.
"Home for the holidays" took on special meaning this year for 10-year old Brooklyn, who spent four years in foster care waiting for a family. Brooklyn was recently adopted after his parents saw him on the Freddie Mac Foundation's Wednesday's Child program on Los Angeles' Fox11 News. His adoption took place on National Adoption Day, an event the Foundation helped create 10 years ago. Brooklyn is one of 1,500 children in foster care who have found permanent families through Wednesday's Child.
Housing with Supportive Services
The Foundation's investment in housing with supportive services made a real difference this year to vulnerable families. Anthony Martin, a single dad, and his two sons ages eight and 10, were homeless until last year. The Foundation's partnership with a Maryland nonprofit – the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless – and the County government helped Martin, a full-time mechanic, and his children move into an apartment. They also receive critical services such as case management from a social worker.
Freddie Mac also partnered with nonprofits to provide financial counseling to help families keep their homes. Certified housing counselors at Virginia nonprofit Reston Interfaith helped Gloria Mendoza and her family, victims of a foreclosure "rescue" scam, work out a loan modification and avoid foreclosure.
These are just a few of the families who will be home for the holidays as a direct result of our community partnerships.
Our employee volunteers strengthen our efforts. In 2009, more than 1,400 employees – 25% of our workforce – took part in Freddie Mac's "Home Team" volunteer projects. They renovated foreclosed homes, provided financial literacy training to young people and families, and tutored elementary students. Over the years, more than 120 Freddie Mac executives have taken part in our nonprofit board service program, serving on the boards of organizations like the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing in Virginia, and D.C. Habitat for Humanity.
As always, we are grateful for our community partners. They help fulfill the hopes and dreams of a homeless family by finding them a home. They help bring joy to a child and her newly-adoptive parents. Every day, in so many different ways, they are changing children's lives and building stronger families. We are privileged to join them, and look forward to our continued efforts in the year ahead.
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