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Red Day benefits Arlington teens

Tasha Currie prunes a plant at the Cocoon House in Arlington as part of the Keller Williams Realty RED Day community service event on May 10. - Lauren Salcedo
Tasha Currie prunes a plant at the Cocoon House in Arlington as part of the Keller Williams Realty RED Day community service event on May 10.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

ARLINGTON — The Arlington Cocoon House, a local emergency housing facility for teens in need, received picnic tables, a new vegetable garden and a barbecue just in time for summer, as part of the Keller Williams Realty’s annual RED Day event on May 10.

RED Day stands for “Renew, Energize and Donate” and aims to be an annual show of commitment to local communities by Keller Williams associates who donate their time to help the cause.

“We try and do something different every year,” said Mary Nemeth of the Marysville Keller Williams. In past years, Keller Williams has donated time to the Boys and Girls Clubs in Arlington and Marysville, the Arlington Food Bank and to the home of a man battling cancer.

“We were touched by the fact that this is such a lovely house, but there’s nothing to do outside,” Nemeth said, of  the Cocoon House. “It’s exciting to think about the kids sitting around here this summer, with the benches and the barbecue.”

The Cocoon House is a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Everett that provides assistance for teens with a variety of life issues, including homelessness, drug addiction, mental health concerns and family troubles. The Arlington facility is a six-bed emergency housing facility, while Everett has an eight-bed emergency housing facility, as well as a complex that supports longer-term housing for teenagers in transition.

“Our company is about growing leaders, with people impacting people,” said Mike Hansen of Keller Williams Marysville. “The Cocoon House and us, our paradigms, our values are the same. The Cocoon House is about taking kids who need help and showing them how to learn a new way of living.”

For the teenagers who currently use the Arlington Cocoon House, this could not have been a better choice for the RED Day charity. The kids posted “Thanks Keller Williams” signs in the kitchen with notes that said, “Thanks for making our summer more fun”, “You are awesome” and “You guys rock.”

“A lot of these kids are coming from very chaotic situations,” said Darrin Struckman, who is the site operator of the Arlington house along with his wife Heather. “They need a stable place for a while to get on track. If we can give them a safe place to sleep at night and feed them well, that goes a long way.”

Struckman said that the Cocoon House relies solely on donations and grants, and he expressed appreciation for the RED Day event.

“We are funded by a mix of grants, public and private, as well as donations and support from various major businesses,” Struckman said. “It costs a lot to keep us running. We are very much reliant on every source of income we can find. We are really appreciative of their help. We couldn’t work without community support.”

Not only were many Keller Williams associates present on the sunny Thursday morning to help do the yard work, but there were several other behind-the-scene helpers.

“Lowe’s gave us our materials at cost,” said Nemeth. “One of the picnic tables was donated. There is a whole list of people who helped. A lot of people helped make this happen.”

To learn more about Keller Williams RED Day visit their website at www.kw.com. To learn more or donate to the Cocoon House, visit www.cocoonhouse.org.

 

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