Thanks to Fournier Group reaching their 500 votes + shares, Edwards Center won a $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance to further their mission to enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and help them reach their highest potential. Congrats to the team and thank you for supporting them!
You could say that Dirk Fournier was destined to work with Edwards Center.
In his childhood, Fournier, CEO of Fournier Group in Portland, Oregon, played soccer with a classmate who had Down syndrome—and the two forged a bond he remembers fondly.
A similar story led to the founding of Edwards Center, which enhances the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and helps them reach their highest potential.
Decades ago, founder Jean Edwards met a neighbor with Down syndrome—a lifelong friendship that shaped Edwards’ career path, as she eventually became a Special Education professor at Portland State University. It also sparked her to establish Edwards Center in 1972.
Still making an impact
And today, both Fournier and Edwards continue to make an impact for these individuals.
The center serves adults ages 18 and older with autism, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, and other developmental challenges, said Edwards, who now serves as president emerita for the organization. From vocational and recreational programs to housing in group homes, offerings are aimed at long-term benefits—providing participants with the best chance to be a part of the world around them.
“Some come to us who otherwise could face homelessness, or who have an aging parent that can no longer care for them,” she said. “We want to preserve their dignity and independence, while giving them opportunities in all aspects of their lives.”
An MC — and much more
Fournier first got involved in 2012, after learning about Edwards Center from a client. For the past five years he has emceed the annual gala, which is the center’s biggest fundraiser. But his volunteering—as well as support from others in his agency—goes far beyond just one event.
“When we help Edwards Center, we know we are making a real difference for a deserving organization and families with crucial needs.”
Dirk Fournier, CEO, Fournier Group
Between 5-10 Fournier Group employees participate in various projects for Edwards Center about twice a year, including book drives, group home renovations, and more. And while COVID-19 limited volunteer opportunities, a group from the agency recently helped staff a vaccination event at the center, monitoring residents for side effects, taking temperatures, and even directing traffic and parking.
“When we help Edwards Center, we know we are making a real difference for a deserving organization and families with crucial needs,” Fournier said. “It’s not a household-name nonprofit with a high profile. It doesn’t have a big endowment or operating budget. It’s a local organization that cares deeply about enhancing the lives of the people it serves, and does life-changing work. Jean’s energy is contagious—she and Edwards Center inspire us to do better.”
A 2021 Make More Happen Award—and a donation of up to $10,000 for Edwards Center from Safeco and Liberty Mutual on behalf of Fournier Group—will help make a difference, too.
That amount could fund an evacuation and warming center, along with beds and meals, in times of crisis for Edwards Center participants.
“Having Dirk as an advocate has opened so many doors for us,” she added. “He believes in our work, speaks passionately about us, and has helped us reach higher goals. We consider Dirk and the Fournier Group team part of the Edwards Center family.”
Help Fournier Group spread awareness about Edwards Center, and help them win $10,000 at the same time! Use the social share buttons and leave a comment below to help them get to 500 combined votes and comments. Learn more about Fournier Group and Edwards Center.
Wonderful people doing amazing things for others!
For many years, I drove a bus for young adults like these to take them to and from their homes and their “program,” as they called it. These were the most rewarding passengers of all I had, for they were honest, funny, straight-forward and real people who were coping well with life and their different situations. They had families who cared for them and local organizations to assist them, just like Edwards Center does. EC deserves every bit of help they can get in their noble mission!
Great job, Fournier Group! Your community is blessed to benefit from your generous efforts!
What an awesome program.
Edwards Center is an example of love in action.
The Edwards is a fantastic organization. It is great to see organizations partnering together.
What a wonderful mission. Such essential help for people and their entire families.
Great opportunity, partnerships supply much needed resources!
Thank you Edwards Center for the care and support you give my son Darin and the other people
Community support is so necessary-thank you
Fantastic cause! Very inspiring!
A great group doing such important things! Thank you for sharing this heart-warming story.
Such an inspiring story
What an uplifting story, it warms my heart to know there are such good people helping to make life better for those that need our love the most.
We are so proud to be a part of THE EDWARDS FAMILY! Kimberly Bech& Mom
Great work here
So inspirational! The perfect partnership!
Thank you for all you do. Jane Kleinheinz
With deep gratitude to Jean Edwards and the entire Edwards Center team for their vision, compassion and commitment to people who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. The impact of Edward’s Center is immeasurable.
My little sis loves attending daily classes at the Edwards. What other “job” allows you to sit around, yak with friends, create art, learn, dance and sing? Thank you, Edwards Center, for all you do.
Fournier Group is dedicated to serving the lives of people with disabilities. Thank you Dirk and Jean. Together you make the best partnership this community. I have been to those found raisers and you both are amazing people. Many,many blessing and thank you!
Thank you Fornier Group for your partnership with Edward Center
Absolutely amazing work by these amazing people! Thank you for all you do for our community.
The Edwards Center and the Fournier Group – A Wonderful Partnership!
Edwards Center is a wonderful caring organization fot those who need these services. Great caring staff.
The Edward’s Center is an amazing organization
The Edwards Center is an incredible organization!!!
Thanks for all you do!
The Edwards Center and the Fournier Group – an Amazing Team helping adults with developmental disabilities every day!
Wonderful people that care
Edwards Center has enriched the life of our daughter for years and will so for years to come. That could not happen with out the support of organizations like the Fournier Group and individual supporters like those leaving their comments here and on social media. Thank you all!
The Edwards Center has been a fantastic support to our son. We appreciate them from the bottom of our heart!
Edwards Center is a vital asset to the community!
Edwards Center is a blessing to their clients-providing care and support for both client and family-THANK YOU!
Edwards Center is fantastic and there is nothing that compares
Edwards Center empowers people with disabilities to live lives with meaning. I’m blessed to have learned and grown from my time with them. The way in which the clients, the staff, and the organization are making good things happen is truly inspirational.
Edwards is our answer to prayer for our daughter
We are Grateful and Thankful for Edward’s
An amazing organization and partnership!
The Edwards Center is an answer to prayer!
I like my house and my friends!
Our whole family is grateful for Edwards Center Inc. Thank you for giving him a full and happy life!
Our son is very happy living in an Edwards group home. And we have great peace of mind knowing that his future is safe and secure. This is a blessing beyond words to express.