We are excited to introduce our newest eNews feature, our Donor Spotlight! Each month we will feature one of our generous donors and, for this month's Spotlight, we sat down with Bret Helmer, President and CEO of R4 Foundation.
Keep reading to learn more about R4 Foundation and to hear what Bret had to say about First3Years.
R4 Foundation is a private charitable foundation created by a Fort Worth family seeking to help its community find what is possible. In its fourth year of providing local grants, R4 gives within four pillars of purpose - wellness, education, arts, and community. R4's general vision is to inspire people to live compassionate lives of substance and value.
First3Years: What attracted you to the organization/Why did you get involved?
Bret Helmer: Our Board of Directors is passionate about the early learning space. First3Years came very well recommended from other organizations in town. I found Sadie to be a delightful person and a strong leader, so it was a natural fit. We appreciate good leadership and Sadie is an added bonus to the mission of First3Years.
F3Y: In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does?
Helmer: We value the Safe Babies program, which was piloted in Tarrant County last year. The program works to ensure that the transition between foster parents and natural parents is productive for both the children and adults. Trust is built, parenting skills are learned, and the child is put first.
F3Y: How does First3Years uniquely contribute to the community?
Helmer: The Safe Babies program has already helped many local families. Stable and healthy parenting leads to healthier children. Healthier children become emotionally intelligent adults who give back to our community.
F3Y: What do you hope the organization will achieve in the near future? In the long term?
Helmer: We are delighted that First3Years won a $100,000 prize through the United Way GroundFloor program last year. As a result, Safe Babies was able to scale its program to include Dallas County, and serving more families is their ultimate goal.
F3Y: Does anyone in your life play a role in supporting your involvement? In providing inspiration?
Helmer: I learn from my two children every day. It is children who teach, if adults would just listen and watch. It is easy to be inspired by children.
F3Y: Do you have an anecdote about this organization that really moved you? Or is there anything else you would like to share?
Helmer: We are so fortunate to have an organization in our community solely committed to the 0-3 year old space. Their goal is to be champions for children at the very beginning of their lives. What could be more important?