Hutton Happenings: Winter 2020

Hutton Settlement Annual Tree Farm Fundraiser!

It’s that time of year!

All proceeds from Hutton’s tree farm go directly back to our on-campus educational programs. Our community has been an incredible support year after year – thank you!!

We hope you have a happy holiday season.

Hutton Kids Give Back

This week, a group of our Hutton children and staff helped out the Spokane’s 300 Boodle Brigade with assembling care packages for deployed troops. Thanks to Hutton Board member, Dawn Worrall for letting us be a part of this special evening!

Each year, our kids participate in programs which allow them to give back to the community and by the end of their Senior year, most of them will have completed over 400 hours of voluntary community service!

It is our goal that when a child graduates from Hutton, they are aware of the needs of the community and eager and able to give their services to make change.

Hutton’s Woodworking Shop Takes Flight Thanks to Sears!

Sunday morning, Sears at Northtown Mall gifted Hutton Settlement $2,000 to buy the items needed to begin our woodworking program. 

The children came with lists that became a scavenger hunt-style shopping spree. Houseparent Jason Dietzel recently returned from a taking courses at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, and was so excited to be given the opportunity to start the shop so soon after learning new skills.

The group left with numerous items, including a table saw, drill, sander, clamps and so much more. The children were sharing their ideas for projects, including one idea for a bookshelf, as the child was pretty convinced she’d be getting more books for Christmas this year.

The woodworking program a part the arts branch of the larger Ecoliteracy program that Hutton is initiating. The Center for Ecoliteracy will focus on sustainability, arts and leadership, where students will learn about their government, agriculture, culinary arts, and more.

The donation from Sears has given Hutton an incredible start to this program and we can’t wait to see what the kids create!

Thanks to the Sears team at Northtown, especially manager Aaron, for selecting Hutton and helping us find our items!

Weekend at Schweitzer!

New Years weekend, an incredibly generous donor provided three nights lodging for the entire campus from at Schweitzer Mountain.

All houseparents and kids remaining on campus spent the weekend sledding, snowshoeing, and spending time as a large Hutton family on the mountain.

We are so grateful for this donation and the opportunity to get away as a large family and spend some quality (and fun!) time together.

An Annual Tradition: Hutton Settlement Christmas Tree Fundraiser

UPDATE: The Christmas Tree Farm is closed for the 2018 season! Thank you for your support and we will see you next year!

It’s that time again!

Don’t miss out on a Spokane community favorite – the Hutton Settlement Christmas Tree Fundraiser!

All proceeds fund Hutton’s on-campus, youth-led educational programs. Selection and price details are shown above. Please feel free to email [email protected] or call 509-926-1027 with any questions you might have.

Hours of Operation: 

Monday-Friday: 12:00-6:00PM

Saturday-Sunday: 10:00-6:00PM

Hope & Wholeness: Jasmine’s Story

Hope & Wholeness: Jasmine’s Story

Growing up, I had no concept of home. We moved yearly, if not more frequently. Each year a different school and no prospect of making friends, why get close to anyone when you might not see them in a few months any way. My dad, although in mine and my brother’s life early on, was out of the picture by the time I was seven years old. Heroin, and the lifestyle that entailed, guided my mother’s choices and life for me and my four siblings was chaotic, unstable and completely out of our control. As a consequence of the lifestyle that she lived, we were put in situations that no child should have to experience. I was a voiceless shadow full of anger, fear, and hurt, I yearned for my mother’s love and attention but drugs and men consumed her.

My siblings and I stayed with my grandmother off and on. Sometimes my mother would show up with food, other times she would take us pan handling with her. We would sit on the street corner while she begged for money to feed us. Once she had enough, she would send us into the store to buy food and then make us eat it behind the store. When we were done she would have us come back to the street corner while she continued begging to feed her habit. Nothing was permanent.

We also lived with our grandfather for a short while. Living with my grandpa, I often  walked on egg shells, never knowing when my grandpa would explode in rage. I tip toed, trying not to anger him and spent my days playing with my cousins and siblings and hanging out in the library across the street. My mother showed up one day, with hopes to take my siblings and I away from our grandpa. Only I and my little sister ended up going with her. That first night we spent in a motel. We were awoken in the middle of the night to loud banging on the door, my grandpa had found us and was attempting to break down the door. We climbed out of the back window, climbed under fences and hid under bushes in the rain. The next morning we found that the tires had been slashed. We spent the next several days on the streets, eating at the mission and staying at drug houses.

My mom eventually got us all back and we moved to Spokane, I was 8 years old. Things seemed almost stable for a while. My mom was working even though she was still using drugs and her boyfriend was selling them. But we had a roof over our heads and I had just started third grade. One day at school, my two brothers and I got called to the counselor’s office. She told us that we would not be going home, Children’s Services placed my little sister and I in one foster home and my brothers in a separate home. I found out later that our house had been raided and my mom and her boyfriend were sent to jail. And just like that my whole world had been pulled out from under my feet, I was terrified. For some time my mom was not allowed visitation with my siblings and me. I remember just as school was getting out one day my mom showed up with a bag of toys, my foster parent quickly ushered me in the car and we drove away. I cried, not understanding why I could not see my mom. I prayed every night for God to help my mom get off of drugs and make us a family again.

Eventually, my siblings and I were placed in my grandma’s care. There, we basically had to fend for ourselves. My older brother and I did our best to feed ourselves and our two younger siblings. Our meals consisted of boxed mac n cheese, ramen noodles, and microwaved eggs. I remember on Thanksgiving, my grandpa sent us a pre-made Thanksgiving feast. My brother and I re-heated the food, and my siblings and I had our little Thanksgiving. We always looked forward to the first of the month because my grandma would treat us to dinner at a restaurant or buffet.Though we lived a block from our school, we would often stay home or be sent home because of head lice. Our grandma was ill and was not equipped to care for us. We were again placed in separate foster homes. My older sister and I were placed in one foster home, while my brothers and little sister were placed in another foster home that was out in the country. After my older sister ran away from the foster home we shared, I was placed in yet another home with an older couple. Although, these foster homes provided my siblings and I with the stability we needed, we were missing the emotional comfort of being together. I was alone and missed my brothers and sisters. I poured myself into school work because it was the one thing that I could control. I, eventually, was placed in the foster home in the country with three of my siblings, and transferred to another school. All the while my mom had finished a treatment program near Yakima and was being moved to another treatment program to begin the process of regaining custody. Our CPS worker told my mother about the Hutton Settlement and she fought to get us placed there, at the opposition of our Guardian Ad Litem, grandpa and foster parents, so that we could all be together and be near her.

I was placed at The Hutton Settlement when I was 11 years old, along with three of my siblings, whose ages ranged from 5 years old to 13 years old at the time. After all that we had been through in those 3 years before Hutton, having been in four different foster homes and separated for 1 ½ of those years, The Hutton Settlement was a stark contrast to the lack of security we had experienced. My brothers lived in a separate home, or “cottage,” than me and my little sister on the Hutton campus but we saw each other every day. I excelled in school and made friends. I was given the stability and nurturance to move beyond a state of fear and helplessness for the first time in my life.

We went to school every day, had three meals a day and after school snacks, chores, study hours and tutors, caring Houseparents, and a community of support staff that want children to thrive. Hutton quickly became our home. We would visit our mom on weekends and holidays. After a year and a half, my mom was able to get clean, find a job and a home and was granted custody of me and my siblings. Initially, I, and my younger sister moved back with her, while my brothers chose to stay at Hutton. I spent about 6 months with my mother before returning to Hutton, I missed my friends, my school and my Hutton family. At Hutton, I discovered my passion for art and helping others. Our education coordinator at the time, along with some of the older campus youth started a community service group, called SALUTE or Service and Leadership United Through Education. I became a member of this group and regularly volunteered at various community organizations such as Campus Kitchens, Habitat For Humanity, Relay for Life through the American Cancer Society, Christmas Elf helpers for Santa Express, and we also held a clothing and toiletries drive for refugees in Spokane. I eventually became the president of SALUTE and had the opportunity to build a home for a family in Mexico through Amor Ministries as well as build a community garden on the Hutton campus. I learned the value of gratitude and giving back to the community. The staff at Hutton became my mentors, encouraging me to cultivate my voice and my passion for creating art and helping others heal. They modeled for me how to live with courage, discipline and compassion. They also helped me recognize my own resilience. I have had the opportunity to manage the yearly Hutton Christmas tree farm fundraiser for the past four years.

Though I lived at Hutton for six years of my life, my connection to Hutton I know will be lifelong. It is such a special and unique place that helps children who come from a broken past, journey toward wholeness. While not every child at Hutton has the same story, the Hutton Community works endlessly to provide each child opportunities and nurturing that will help them to be resilient. My heart is filled with gratitude to have had the experiences I have had, good and bad. I have learned so much from my Hutton family and mentors in my life, especially my mom. She fought her way through addiction and a traumatic past of her own and could have easily hardened herself to the cruelties of the world yet, remains a soft, empathic, and compassionate soul determined to help vulnerable and voiceless people find their voices and heal from trauma. I, now, have this same determination, having recently graduated with my BA in Psychology with an Art minor, to continue my education to attain a degree in Art Therapy. With this training, I hope to positively impact and foster healing and hope in the lives of children who have experienced abuse, trauma, and hopelessness. Having worked to have a healthy relationship with my mom, I, now, get privilege of watching her be an amazing parent and grandparent to my children. I, now, have the insight, support and personal resources that I need to break the cycle of abuse that my mother inherited. I, now, have the tools required to raise my two children in a nurturing environment. One in which they have unconditional love so that they can grow without fear of abandonment, in which they are taught courage, gratitude and compassion for all walks of life. My experiences thus far have taught me that home is not a place, but instead the people that nurture, comfort us, and provide the safety and security we need to grow and spread our branches. While, my early years did not provide me with a sense of home, I have since planted deep roots.

Hutton Alum Back for Christmas Break

Today we’d like to spotlight Hutton alum Tim McPeak, who is back visiting for Christmas break!

Tim is attending the Curlew Job Corps, where he has chosen to pursue Cement Masonry. He will be receiving his certificate of completion this spring. To date, he has become OSHA certified, scaffolding and green certified and has learned skills to teach and train others in the field, much like a foreman.

What do you like about Job Corps?

“People there strive to do their best. You learn how to deal with different types of people every day. I appreciate that job corps allows me to complete drivers ed, receive certifications that will help me with my career and it teaches me how to work hard.”

Tim says that being a part of sports teams like track, cross country and basketball at West Valley High School helped him to learn how to work well with others and to help people achieve their goals. In high school, he lettered in track, cross country, basketball and football!

Tim also attended the Washington Youth Academy during his junior year of high school, where he earned high school credits in a military setting. He says he misses Youth Academy because he enjoyed the structure and routine environment – it made the days go by fast. He misses the people there as well.

What did you like about living at Hutton?

“I got to grow up with different age groups that taught me how to be patient. Hutton allowed me to grow up in a family environment, which I didn’t always have. One of my highlights was our 2015 Hutton trip to Disneyland.”

We asked him what he is looking forward to, once he completes Job Corps and he said having his own place, having money to buy things for himself, having the independence of growing up and most importantly, he’s looking forward to experiencing the world.

We can’t wait to see where Tim’s bright future takes him!

18 Things Hutton is Thankful for in 2018

As the year comes to an end, we thought we would put together a list of things we are thankful for this year.

By no means is this it, we could go on forever!

1. Hutton Kids (Current and Alum): Each one of our kids has enriched our campus community in diverse ways. Their compassion, talents and stories make up the spirit that Levi Hutton first experienced nearly 100 years ago. First and foremost, we are grateful for the thousands that have called Hutton home. 

2. Houseparents: The ‘secret sauce’ of Hutton Settlement – the ones who serve day in and day out to provide a safe, loving environment. We are thankful for those that have dedicated their energy and hearts to service at Hutton.


3. Investors: Our 2018 investors have helped to make a lot happen! Thank you for trusting us to be good stewards of your resources and choosing to invest in the lives of our Hutton children.


4. Community Partners: From Washington Trust Bank organizing their annual Christmas Tree Giveaway to the Cheney Owl Pharmacy donating profits from pictures with Santa, we are grateful for those organizations and businesses that have stepped in to help make the Hutton difference. 

5. Campus Staff: We know it takes a village and each member of our campus staff serves with heart and purpose, even when it means fulfilling the “other duties as assigned” bullet.  


6. Volunteers: Our lists of volunteer groups and individuals have grown quickly. You’ve helped us build fences, clear trails, prepare garden beds, spread bark, prepare care packages for service members, rake leaves and more! Stay tuned for information about our spring volunteer opportunities! 

7. Christmas Tree Customers: Our kids loved greeting and helping everyone at the tree farm. This year we sold out faster than we ever have thanks to the generosity of our community! Check out the recap here!

8. M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust: This fall, we announced a $152,000.00 grant award from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Kicking off construction in October, the grant replaced over 2,000 feet of aging sewer lines, addressing a critical infrastructure need at the campus.


9. West Valley School District: For nearly a century, the West Valley School District has fully embraced our children. Providing extra support where needed, we are so grateful to have such a committed partners that ensure our kids receive a rigorous and relevant education. 

10. Millwood Community: Business owners, organizations, community members and neighbors alike, we are grateful for the way that Millwood has walked alongside the Settlement in serving our kids. 

11. Our Board of Trustees: Twenty-one women serving life-terms, all for the sake of carrying forth Levi Hutton’s mission to provide a “neighborhood of care” for children in need in our region. The deep impact seen by many is made possible by our valued Board Ladies.   

12. Gonzaga University Tutors: Each semester many Gonzaga students dedicate time weekly to provide one-on-one tutoring for our kids. Serving as role-models, the GU students have become a critical component of the Hutton community.


13. Media: 2018 has been a year full of exciting news at Hutton and we are grateful for the various opportunities to share that with the Spokane region. From KHQ and KXLY’s coverage of the Christmas Tree Farm, the Spokesman Review’s piece highlighting Trevor and the Tree Farm, the coverage of our Murdock award, to the announcement of a new team member, thank you to all those that have covered Hutton in the news! 

14. Extended Supports for Kids: Families, teachers, coaches, caseworkers, friendship families, and mentors – you each have made a difference in the lives our kids and campus.  


15. L&L Cargile: Leading the sewer replacement project, we are grateful for L&L Cargile, their hard work and willingness to take on a project so important to our future. 

16. Fette Trust: Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  Providing funds for our students to obtain higher education, thanks to the Fette Trust, they each have an opportunity to pursue their goals in what brings them joy.  


17. Kris Faulkner: Kris Faulkner, our talented videographer, is helping to us to tell our story through video. In case you missed it, check out the First Ride video about Spokane’s Looff Carrousel. Stay tuned for our next videos!

18. WE Soccer Club: WE Soccer Club’s full scholarship has allowed one of our kids to discover his talents and play premier club soccer. Resilience, mental strength and confidence are all skills he has developed and strengthened thanks to the generosity of WE Soccer Club!


Thank you all for being a part of our year!

Students Participate in ‘Know Your Government’

On Monday, January 31st, seven Hutton students met to participate in the program called, “Know Your Government”. They have been learning about the branches of the government, law, the process of debate and much more. The series culminates in a trip to Olympia to participate in a mock trial.

At this particular meeting, Superior Court Judge Ray Clary talked to the students about the process of becoming a judge, the steps in a court case and the differences between civic and criminal court cases. Judge Clary lived at the Morning Star Boy’s Ranch as a child, so he was able to share with the youth his story of growing up and wanting to give back by helping others – as his family was helped so much growing up.

One of his memorable quotes from the night – “Always be persuasive, not argumentative”. He taught the children that people are more likely to listen to someone telling a persuasive story over someone arguing in people’s faces. He helped prepare them for what to expect at their mock trials and told them that preparation and focusing on a theme (more than plain facts) is key.

Students also heard from Jim Rigsby, retired school teacher and counselor. He had sat on a jury for a high profile case at one time and was able to talk about the process of jury selection and the honor it is to be called to serve. Mr. Rigsby also had a questionnaire for the children to answer, quizzing what they knew about the process.

The students asked many thoughtful questions throughout the meeting and actively listened and participated in the process.

The evening finished off with the students learning more about the positions they may hold at trial in Olympia (Jury, Lawyer, etc.) and preparing for their trip in February.

We truly have some incredible children at Hutton! Stay tuned for the stories from their trip to Olympia!