“It’s impossible to not be deeply touched by our work”

2015 Founder’s Award: Rich Wagner

“I think we all hope to make a difference. My inspiration comes from seeing so many of the opportunities that surround us every moment … and being dissatisfied with the way things are.” -  Rich Wagner, 2015 Founder’s Award recipient

NOVEMBER 2, 2015 - Rich Wagner first heard all about Wellspring Family Services “waaaaaay back” when his friend joined our staff.  But it wasn’t until 2005 that his friend – now our vice president for clinical and training services – first approached Rich about getting involved.

Rich is a principal partner at Baylis Architects. In 2005, the board was weighing whether to move ahead with building our own facility. Rich’s first Wellspring experience was at a board retreat, debating the project.

“I found the discussion very invigorating in that it’s rare to get connected to a group that is so passionate, so informed, and so smart,” Rich said recently. 

“Wellspring has surrounded itself with people that do things, not just talk about things that need doing.”

Rich jumped in, serving on our site selection committee in 2006 and our building committee in 2007, then as board secretary the following year. He went on to serve as board chair in 2009-10, and stepped down from the board in June 2014.

As for the building – it was finished in 2009.

We asked Rich recently to reflect back on his experiences with Wellspring Family Services. His observations:

Q: Why are you passionate about the work of Wellspring and its mission?
A: “It’s impossible to not be deeply touched by our work: The smiles on the faces of our kids, the thankfulness of the mothers in the Boutique, the tears in the eyes of our luncheon guests, the confessions and forgiveness of our DV Dads. These, and thousands of similar moments, remind me of how blessed I am.”

Q:  In what ways have you turned this passion into action?A: “This is best answered by others. I would hope that the answers would include a relentless momentum to not be satisfied, an ability to excite others about “What’s Next” and a willingness to prosecute the actions needed to push toward the goals.”

Thank you, Rich, for your extraordinary commitment in helping King County families triumph over trauma.

ABOUT US: Wellspring Family Services helps homeless families and others going through trauma discover their resilience, move through crisis, and reach their full potential. Our Community Services include:

  • Placement for homeless families and housing stabilization
  • The Baby Boutique, our free store for essential items
  • Comprehensive early learning and kindergarten readiness for children who have experienced homelessness, crisis or trauma
  • Domestic violence intervention and counseling
  • Parent-child counseling services

Our mission: Build emotionally healthy, self-sufficient families and a nonviolent community in which they can thrive.