Julie Washington grew up in South Florida, where she witnessed a stark difference in socio-economic status between the “haves” and the “have nots.” What she learned was that love doesn’t require a big salary or a fancy house.
She recalls, “Despite growing up with families where resources were seemingly unlimited, to families in my neighborhood where they were few and far between, at the core of it, regardless of how much money you had, the whole child, the healthier child, was found in families where there were parents who provided love, compassion, and concern.”
We’re proud to have Julie as part of our Board of Directors, fully committed to the Beech Acres mission. She is Chief Brand Officer for Jamba Juice, and last year she won the Marketers That Matter Award™. Previously she served as vice president of marketing at Luxottica Retail and earlier, North America director of shopper marketing at Proctor & Gamble. Her credentials are impressive. But her most significant title is Mom.
Julie’s kids are 16, 13 and nine. She says, “I remember the day we brought our daughter home and we thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, we have a baby. What do we do?’ Now it’s 16 years later,” she laughs. “Where did the time go”?
She learned about Beech Acres through Leadership Cincinnati where she met then-board president Barry Morris. He introduced her to Jim and then, “It was all over,” she says. “I fell in love with the mission and purpose of Beech Acres. It aligns with what I believe is the core of a healthy country, a healthy community—the family.”
Although she no longer lives near her family of origin, familial support is at the center of her world. “My three kids and husband and I, we also show up to each other’s events, whether it’s a piano recital or a football game. We’re five strong. My mom and dad instilled this in me, that if my children know nothing else, every day they know that their mom loves them. Kids don’t need all 24 of your hours, they just need a quality 24 minutes.”
That conviction drives Julie’s support of Beech Acres. “If we really want to strengthen families, we have to understand the needs of families. Beech Acres does that. We’re not just providing a single solution. For all families, however that’s defined, we provide programs and services to meet their needs. That’s what makes us unique and different, and what will allow us to lead in this area.”
“Everyone needs to feel loved. Everyone doesn’t know how to love. If you can help parents how to learn to give of themselves, despite what they did or did not receive, that’s step one to meeting a child’s needs.” What a beautiful way to say that we teach people to be the best parents they can be.
“It doesn’t matter how much money you have or how many opportunities you have, what’s important is the love that comes from a family totally committed to a child’s welfare and development.”