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The Freddie Mac Foundation: Celebrating 20 Years

Community Relations EVP Ralph Boyd, Jr.

Looking Back

Twenty years ago, the Freddie Mac Foundation opened its doors to help our
neighbors – to make houses into homes for thousands of vulnerable children and their families.

"Home" can mean many things. For the Freddie Mac Foundation, above all, home is a safe, nurturing place where children and their families thrive. It’s a place where a child like Carrie, who grew up in a half-dozen foster care placements, finally found a loving, adoptive family to tuck her in at night and take her to school on her first day… and now, eight years later, to welcome her home from college.

For Tammy and her two daughters, home is a place of their own after living in a Reston, Virginia, family shelter. It’s where Tammy celebrated getting her degree and becoming a nurse, and where her daughters look forward to having their friends over for sleepovers.

Many of the children we helped in our early years are now grown and raising families of their own.With the help of the Foundation and its many partners, their lives have changed, as well as the lives of their children.

Together with our partners and our community, we have shared many milestones and memorable moments over the past two decades (as you can see in our partner videos below). These are just a few of the highlights:

  • Helping nonprofits build, renovate or buy millions of dollars worth of property to house children and families and provide critical services. Nonprofit partners have included organizations like the Latin American Youth Center, Covenant House, the ARC, Catholic Charities, the Iona Whipper Home for abused girls, and St. Colleta’s School for disabled children.

  • Founding National Adoption Day, which has grown from nine sites to more than 400 across the nation. More than 35,000 adoptions have been finalized on this day since 1992 with the help of judges, nonprofits, foundations, social workers, child welfare organizations, and, of course, families.

  • Finding loving, adoptive homes for more than 2,000 hard-to-place children in foster care, through our creation of the Freddie Mac Foundation Wednesday’s Child program and the Freddie Mac Foundation Heart Gallery.

  • Flying in a blimp copiloted by an 11-year-old Wednesday’s Child, and watching another sing on stage with Stevie Wonder. Even more memorable: hearing their hopes and dreams for a "forever family."

  • Seeing children at J.C. Nalle Community School in Washington, D.C., improve academically through a Foundation-funded after-school program, while their parents earn their GEDs and receive counseling and other needed family support. The Foundation’s work over the years is strengthened by thousands of Freddie Mac employees who tutor and mentor these students, and even helped to build a Foundation-funded school playground.

  • Funding the Freddie Mac Foundation Child and Adolescent Protection Center wing at Children’s Hospital to help thousands of abused and neglected children heal.

I am confident that for many children and families, these partnerships have made all the difference in their lives – and that our legacy will have a lasting impact in the community.

Looking Ahead

When Freddie Mac entered conservatorship in 2008, the Freddie Mac Foundation was fortunate to be self-funded by its own separate endowment – an irrevocable trust created by Freddie Mac in 2003. This endowment has allowed us to continue making charitable investments to help struggling families without using any corporate or taxpayer dollars.

This month, we announced that our conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has directed us to wind down the Freddie Mac Foundation at the end of 2014, with any remaining investments distributed to the community in 2015. We know from our partners that the Foundation’s resources will be hard to replace, and we are working with them to help find other possible funding sources.

While this is the Foundation’s final chapter, I believe the three years ahead could well be our best. It will be a time of innovative and sustainable investments that will have long-term, measurable, and meaningful results for children and families. We plan to invest more than $25 million annually through 2014.

We recently invested $1 million in Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s initiative to end homelessness, and another $1 million in the nonprofit housing organization LISC to help preserve and increase affordable housing for low- and very low-income families. These are the kinds of investments we will be seeking out during the next three years.

The Freddie Mac Foundation is proud of its 20-year legacy partnering with nonprofits and government agencies to invest in our communities. We are privileged to work with an inspiring mix of people, organizations, and agencies joined by a common goal: to make a real, measurable difference in the lives of children and their families for generations to come. We’ve seen some great things happen in that time. Expect great things from us in the Foundation’s final chapter.

* Ralph Boyd left his position at Freddie Mac in February 2012.

Resources

Freddie Mac Foundation 20-Year Anniversary Video


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