Lisa Bontje grew up in Seattle and now lives here with her husband Norm and their high school son Alex, along with their dog and two cats. Their 18 year old son Nate is across the country in college. Lisa and Norm have been active supporters of TeamChild for several years, and we wanted to get to know them better! Lisa was kind enough to answer a few questions to share with our community:
When did philanthropy/giving back become important to you?
For the first decade of my
career, I didn’t think about philanthropy much at all. But then I started
thinking about what was important to me, and I realized it wasn’t what I was
doing professionally. So I quit my job, focused on my family and joined an
amazing organization called Social Venture Partners (SVP) where I was able to
hone some philanthropic skills and consider where I wanted to give back with my
time and resources.
Are there other ways that you engage with the organizations you support?
It’s been really great to
combine my love of photography with supporting my favorite organizations. My
hope is that I can provide them compelling promotional images so they don’t
need to spend a lot of money on a professional photographer. At the same time, I’m able to visit programs
in action and see the great work so many organizations are doing in our
community. Witnessing so many amazing people making a difference in so many
kids’ and families’ lives has been inspirational and humbling.
What causes/organizations spark your passion?
For me specifically, anything
that helps kids sparks my passion. Some local organizations I love are Child
Care Resources, College Possible, Boys & Girls Clubs of King County,
Treehouse, Team Read and of course TeamChild!
What made you want to get involved with TeamChild?
TeamChild’s direct legal
services resonate with me. Teens can make impulsive decisions (we know, we have
teenage sons!). I’ve heard many stories told by youth served by TeamChild who
were facing what seemed like insurmountable obstacles in their lives. These
youth often feel hopeless in dire circumstances. TeamChild’s legal advice and
representation helps youth get back on track with education, stable and safe
housing, and even support for health and well-being.
One particular young woman’s
story sticks with me. Skyla, a former client from Spokane, told her personal
story at the Inaugural TeamChild Luncheon this year. Skyla’s TeamChild
Attorney, Rosey, worked with her to help elevate Skyla’s own voice in a time of
crisis. Skyla’s bravery in facing the situation and coming out the other side a
poised and successful young woman was an inspiration to me.
Huge thanks to Lisa for her support as a donor and volunteer photographer! Her photo of Skyla and Rosey at our luncheon is pictured here, and you can find more of her work at https://www.lisabontjephotography.com/