Bellevue LifeSpring Embraces Local Collaboration in a Virtual Reality
As the toll on children and families continues to surge in the wake of coronavirus, nonprofit Bellevue LifeSpring has charted a locally rooted campaign, Give Where You Live, that champions its mission to foster stability and self-sufficiency through efforts to feed, clothe and educate.
Associate Director Rae Macker noted their chief goal centers on raising $1.5 million by June 30 to provide grocery store vouchers for 3,175 kids to replace free and reduced lunches, and rental assistance for families through the end of the academic year, especially when the eviction moratorium expires.
As life gradually returns to a familiar normal, people are surprised to learn that disadvantaged youth and families in Bellevue are still up against dire straits.
According to research conducted by Bellevue LifeSpring, one in five Bellevue School District students currently lives in poverty and experiences food scarcity. Requests for financial aid have tripled over the past year and requests for food assistance have risen by 50%. In the interim, food vouchers have been an empowering tool that not only supplies affordable access to essential meals, but also returns some independence to families who can purchase budget-friendly, culturally specific groceries.
“When children have these basic needs fulfilled, they are more likely to thrive and reach their fullest potential. Your investment in Bellevue's low-income students creates better learning opportunities, a prepared workforce, and ultimately a stronger Bellevue,” shared Jennifer Fischer, executive director of Bellevue LifeSpring. “When we give where we live, we all benefit.”
Prior to the pandemic, Rae and Jennifer explained that 40% of Bellevue LifeSpring's allocated budget can be traced to event revenue streams, which were nixed when COVID-19 public health and safety restrictions rolled out. Without that reliable funding in effect, staff has cast its call to action across the Downtown core, relying on vested community engagement and generous donations to cover the shortage.
Community partners, local residents, corporate sponsor and anyone in the community are encouraged to get involved in the following ways:
- Give Together – Create a personalized Give Where You Live fundraising page and enlist your friends, family, and neighbors to volunteer and help combat hunger and homelessness. Check out the official Give Where You Live campaign page to explore how custom pages are built with clear instructions to head in the right direction! Every dollar raised will immediately benefit children in Bellevue’s own backyard.
- Host a Virtual Gathering - Host your neighbors and friends for a virtual coffee, lunch, or happy hour gathering to create space for meaningful connection and sharing details about the community’s urgent issues. Contact Kris via email to learn more about a potential collaboration!
- Create Connections – Have a specific friend or family member in mind who may be interested in investing in Bellevue kids? Draft a handwritten letter or send an email based on Bellevue LifeSpring’s template and courtesy images, available to reference and download on its landing page.
- Make an Investment - When children are equipped with the resources needed to succeed, they are more likely to flourish and reach their fullest potential. Your investment in Bellevue’s students bolsters learning opportunities, cultivates a prepared workforce, and ultimately harnesses a stronger Bellevue. Vaccines are providing encouragement and signs of recovery, but the need for collective support and contributions from within the community remains evergreen.
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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