a collaboration founded on giving

First Story would not be where it is today without the passion and dedication of founder Hayden Watson. Robert and Virginia Watson, founders of Hayden Homes, taught their son the importance of building a successful home building company and about the spirit of generosity. Virginia believed we should live in a world where we give more than we get and that philosophy became the inspiration behind First Story. 

In 1998, as a way to honor his father and mother, Hayden started First Story. The non-profit began by giving direct donations to charitable causes in towns and cities across the Pacific Northwest. But, Hayden’s vision was bigger than that, and in 2002 First Story collaborated with Hayden Homes to build the very first grant house. 

Today, 77 grant houses and $1.3 million in charitable donations later, Hayden Homes remains the beating heart of First Story. For every Hayden Home that is sold, a donation is made to First Story to fund more grant houses. Every month the majority of employees choose to make a 100% company-matched donation to First Story. And every year, trade and supply partners jump on board to donate their labor and materials.

mission & vision

First Story's mission is to promote giving and inspire communities through the creation of homeownership opportunities and financial support. Our vision is to change lives.

Board of directors

Angela Price, President  - Retired, Former Executive of Pacific Power
Hayden Watson, Founder - President, Watson Companies
Myles Conway, Secretary - Attorney, Marten Law
Caleb Anderson, Treasurer - Broker, Cascade Sotheby's International Realty
George Slape - Retired, Former Owner of Western Title
Dennis Murphy - CEO, Hayden Homes
Scott Knox - President, Madrone Construction
Jason Conger - Attorney, Lynch, Conger, McLane
Tim Knopp - Oregon State Senator and Executive Vice President, COBA
Stephanie Alvstad - Executive Director, J Bar J Youth Services
Alicia Moore - Dean of Students, Central Oregon Community College
Claire Duncan - Executive Director, First Story


"Being on the Board of First Story is one of the most rewarding experiences I have personally ever had. …this non-profit has given me and all our donors a real solution for making a difference for real people."

Angela Price, Board President