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New charity needs some help to help others

By Andy Rathbun, HeraldNet

1795 days ago   Article ID# 83147
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San Diego Rescue Mission

EVERETT, WASHINGTON (HeraldNet) - Before Gardner Farwell can start helping people, he needs some help of his own.

The Snohomish resident has founded a nonprofit organization to aid and educate women and families who, for example, have been victimized by domestic abuse.

The Healthy Families Foundation is in its infancy, so Farwell is calling for donations.

“We need furniture, we need dishes, we need bedding goods and blankets and all that sort of thing,” he said. “We’re basically nothing other than an idea and some lesson plans.”

Farwell has the experience to make it much more, however.

The 65-year-old has worked in social services for about 28 years. In 1996, he retired from the San Diego Rescue Mission, a nonprofit homeless shelter in California, as its director of men’s operations.

He moved to Snohomish around 2000 when his wife was transferred to the area through her work as an engineer. His intention was to remain retired.

He had too much energy, though. He started volunteering, first with the Monroe Gospel Women’s Mission, and then with other groups.

In April, he launched the nonprofit Healthy Families Foundation. He now shares space with All Aboard, an Everett organization that works with the developmentally disabled.

“(Farwell’s) working with a group that needs support and that’s what we do: offer support to those who need it,” said Gene Rogoway, director of All Aboard.

Farwell has several volunteers helping the foundation with its organizational needs, but he acts as its sole employee, working 8 to 10 hours a day free of charge.

“Hopefully I’ll have a salary,” he said. “Right now, it’s just for the joy of not being around my house.”

He kids, of course. His ambitions go far beyond filling the day.

He holds a domestic violence counseling session at 5:30 p.m. Fridays at Providence Everett Medical Center’s Pacific Campus. He also wants to expand his organization, with an eye on acquiring a halfway house so women and families can have six months to get back on their feet.

The ultimate fate of his foundation remains to be seen, and that’s just fine. Farwell calls it his own adventure.

“I’ll take the glory and the grief,” he said.

Copyright 2014 HeraldNet   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1795 days ago   Article ID# 83147

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