Former foster youth gives back

Peter’s mother was determined to provide for her six children in the 1950s. She was a single parent and wanted to find safe and loving homes for all of her children.

“One of my siblings went to a farm to work, some of my siblings lived with other members of our family, some got married and moved out, and then there was me,” Peter said. “I was lucky enough to have been taken to Children’s Home Society and then at age 12 placed with the most loving foster family a boy could ask for.”

Peter was at the Children’s Home Society of Washington original location on Northeast 65th Street in Seattle, where CHSW had a residential care center for children.  

“CHSW did so much for me growing up, I donate funds to CHSW to support children and families,” Peter said. “I want others to have opportunities as I did. CHSW gave me a wonderful foster home with a great family.”

After Peter went into the military, he progressed through boot camp. He was enlisted for 7 years with the Coast Guard, as an officer for 13 years, and then as a civilian engineer for 14 years. Peter received his Bachelor of Science in operations management. He retired with the Coast Guard as a lieutenant. His foster parents have now passed away, however Peter remains close to his foster brother and birth siblings.

“I think we all have an obligation to help society and do something beyond ourselves,” Peter said. “I’ve always believed in this philosophy and my birth mother gave me that message during my first years.”

Peter appears as a guest speaker and has received the Coast Guard Auxiliary National Commodores Distinguished Service Award and National Defense Service Award among other  honors and awards throughout his career. 

After Peter retired he became a consultant to advise boatbuilders across the country on boatbuilding standards. Peter restores boats and enjoys sailing and fishing in his spare time. He and his wife of 51 years have a son in Virginia who is a paramedic and a daughter in Seattle who works for a local company and sings for a rock band.

“CHSW has been supporting families for a long time and I want to help,” Peter said. “Prevention is key, and the children of our communities are the world’s future. If we don’t care for them, what future will all of us have?”

If you are interested in learning more about our planned giving opportunities, contact 206-695-3290 or

Jennifer Parsons is the marketing communications manager for CHSW.