BECU'S Gloria Dixon poses with Doug Baldwin Jr and Jackie Montgomery from the Family First Community Center.

Purpose Partnership: Supporting Doug Baldwin Jr.’s Community Center

We are excited to partner with the Family First Community Center, founded by former Seattle Seahawks football player Doug Baldwin Jr. Opened in June 2023, the center supports the diverse needs of Renton, Washington residents by empowering individuals and strengthening community bonds.

One of the ways we support our members and communities is through focused, strategic giving that aims to increase financial health and embody our mission of people helping people. Family First Community Center (FFCC) shares that mission.

Located in the heart of the Benson Hill and Cascade areas of Renton, FFCC is the first community center in Washington state to have a health clinic in the same building, providing medical, dental and behavioral health services on site.

The 21,000-square-foot facility also boasts multiple spaces for programs and activities, including a gym, fitness center, and an activities lounge featuring a billiards table, multiple video gaming consoles, computers and books, puzzles, toys, and games. More than 40 partners, from the King County Library System and the Renton Police Department to the Seattle Seahawks, offer programming and services focusing on recreation, education, wellness, and togetherness.

Image shows the outside of the Family First Community Center building.
The Family First Community Center is located in the Benson Hill and Cascade areas of Renton, Washington.

Aligned With BECU's Purpose

"Recognizing the area's needs and that our members and employees live in the area, we wanted BECU to be represented in this community and do what we can to help," said Gloria Dixon, executive director of the BECU Foundation. "This partnership reflects how we are living our purpose every day."

BECU's five-year partnership with FFCC includes funding and other resources, supporting their mission to empower and strengthen the community in alignment with our mission to positively impact the communities we serve and care deeply about.

"I appreciate BECU's belief and trust in the work we're doing and desire to join the effort," said Baldwin, CEO and founder of FFCC. "There are so many pathways and opportunities to serve the community in other creative ways like introducing BECU financial programming. I believe we can make an even greater impact in the community through our partnership."

The Inspiration

In 2011, Baldwin moved to Renton to play for the Seattle Seahawks. He frequented a local teriyaki restaurant near his home and noticed kids doing homework or just hanging out. The owner told Baldwin the kids needed a safe place to stay and feel seen, and her restaurant was one of the only places they could go.

Baldwin soon discovered that more than a third of all Renton residents were living in poverty, including a quarter of kids under 18. The Seattle suburb also lacked resources and amenities like an affordable health clinic and a gym.

With a passion for serving others, he wanted to build his neighbors a community center like the one he had growing up in Pensacola, Florida. It's a place he fondly remembers as his first tutor, first mentor outside of his family, and first introduction to sports.

"It was a special place where I felt safe and seen. The coaches, mentors and other staff all poured into me and invested in me as a young man," recalled Baldwin. "When I got older, I realized how impactful that place was for me and how much kids need spaces like that."

So he connected with the City of Renton, Renton School District, and other organizations to explore potential sites and partnerships, and in June 2023, he opened FFCC. BECU signed on as a partner in October 2023.

Image shows young people shooting hoops in the Family First Community Center gym.
In addition to a gym, FFCC has a fitness center, activities lounge, and health clinic on site.

First Anniversary

Just one year after opening, the Family First Community Center is already having a significant impact on the community. They're seeing an average of 160 daily visitors. More than 7,500 community members have received free FFCC memberships, thanks to the organization's commitment to removing any financial barriers to using the facility.

"As cliche as it sounds, it takes a village. Our work is grounded in the reality that it takes a village: a team of dedicated-to-the-work leaders that are willing to endure the struggle to strengthen our communities," said Baldwin. "BECU is now part of our village and our generational impact work, in part, is made possible through our partnership."

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