A decade ago, Rich was a self-employed contractor working 60 hours a week to make ends meet. He rarely got to spend time with his wife, Rachel, and their two young kids. Still, his health was suffering. Their home was facing foreclosure. They felt stuck.
“It wasn’t sustainable,” Rich says. “I wanted to go to school but the cost of childcare made it prohibitive to not work full time.”
They couldn’t live solely off Rachel’s public teacher salary.
Then they discovered the Seattle Milk Fund (now Goodwin Connections) and their entire outlook changed.
With the barrier of childcare removed, Rich became a first-generation college student. Between classes, he visited his kids at the on-campus childcare center at North Seattle College. At home, he thrived in his role as primary caretaker and household manager. And once Rich earned his associate degree from North Seattle College and returned to work full-time, Rachel was empowered to return to school and earn her
With both parents now earning more than before their degrees, they enjoy what they view as a simple, sustainable life. And they continue to express gratitude for the support they received by paying it forward as donors.
“The program is a very direct way to help people get a higher education by eliminating a key expense in childcare,” they say. “It gave us hope when it really felt like there wasn’t anything.”