Betty Lou Duncan and Tim Duncan are connected in a number of meaningful ways. They are mother and son. They are both successful real estate professionals affiliated with Windermere Real Estate. And they are both committed ShelterCare supporters, each in their own way.
Betty Lou is a Minnesota native but has made Eugene her home for 35 years. She enjoys the community’s easy access to great amenities, including the mountains and the coast. She also appreciates the fact that her children and grandchildren all live nearby.
Tim has lived in Eugene his entire life. He thinks it is a great city and a perfect place to raise a family—an important issue to him now that he has two children.
But Betty Lou and Tim admit that not all is perfect in Eugene. For both, seeing so many homeless people on our streets is not acceptable. They think it is an issue that we all need to address.
“I see homeless people and I think there but for the grace of God. I realize that some of those people could be my children or even me, if life had gone differently,” Betty Lou admitted. She believes that homelessness will always be present but that simply means we have to work harder to find solutions. “We especially need to address mental health issues that lead to homelessness.”
Betty Lou first learned about ShelterCare a few years ago when she heard a presentation about the agency at her former employer’s office. “I was impressed and encouraged that there really was a solution to end homelessness for many people,” she remembers. She was so impressed that she quickly wrote a check to the agency and has been a loyal ShelterCare donor and supporter ever since.
Betty Lou’s loyalty also extends to getting family members involved in supporting ShelterCare. When Tim was looking for a meaningful volunteer experience last year, Betty Lou encouraged him to call ShelterCare.
“I could not believe how perfect Tim’s timing was,” explained Development Director Don Gulbrandsen. “Our volunteer driver/courier had just stepped down. I was wondering where I’d find a new one.” He offered Tim the volunteer driving gig and arranged a test run around town. “I knew he’d be perfect,” admits Don, “because of all the challenging questions he asked about homelessness. He wanted to learn about this issue, and make a difference in the community.”
Tim describes his volunteer job as an easy way to get involved. “I enjoy the flexibility and the opportunities to meet ShelterCare staff and clients and learn more about the programs,” Tim explains. And the staff definitely appreciates Tim: He’s responsible for delivering paychecks to the agency’s locations around Eugene and Springfield.
What advice do Betty Lou and Tim have for ShelterCare? “You need to tell more people about the work you are doing,” they both urged. “Let them know that you do a lot more than give people a free meal and a bed for a few nights. You’re giving people treatment and support. You’re changing lives.”
We couldn’t have said it any better. Thank you, Betty Lou and Tim!