From the beginning

“I grew up climbing trees, and many times my parents couldn’t find me because I would take a book and climb up high, find a comfortable limb and read and talk to the birds,” said Jerri Schmitz, founder of The Matthews House. Have you ever wondered about the meaning behind our logo? Well, keep reading to find out more.


deeply rooted

The simple answer is that our logo stems from an analogy, no pun intended. A tree provides shade, protection, and grows when firmly rooted while the house represents families. This answer may satisfy some people’s curiosity, but below the surface, there is much more to uncover.

Walt Whitman once explained 11 things trees teach us. Jerri, being a lover of poetry from a young age, was introduced to Whitman’s writing early on. Not only has his writing translated into Jerri’s life, but it also translated into the work we do here.

Some might say that all the lessons Whitman states could apply to our organization, but here are some of our favorites:


-Trees teach us authenticity

-Trees teach us what it means to belong to a community

-Trees teach us to grow, even if we are alone

-Trees teach us that our roots will sustain us

-Trees teach us that we can be a source of protection for others


These simple statements may seem small, but isn’t that the point? Words have power, but actions create change. If we remind ourselves of these small things and then spend time investing in ourselves and others, we can truly make a difference.

To see the rest of the lessons and full descriptions click here.


Growing Stronger together

Whether you prefer the analogy or the story behind our logo, we hope it gives you a better look into our mission at The Matthews House. We believe in taking a holistic approach and desire to enter into relationship with our participants and the community at large. Next time you are admiring the beautiful trees we hope you think of us!

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