About Us

Our Mission

To foster stability and self-sufficiency for Bellevue’s children and their families through programs that provide food, clothing, education, and emergency assistance.

Our History

In 1911, a group of women living in Hunts Point formed the Overlake Service League in support of neighbors in need. Now known as Bellevue LifeSpring, our organization continues its tradition of providing children’s basic needs, allowing them to focus on their education and break the cycle of poverty.

When Overlake Service League began, the population in the Bellevue area was just over 150. In the early days, the organization delivered food baskets, goats for milk and seeds, and farm equipment to plant and harvest food. During the Great Depression and following years, Overlake Service League helped those out of work to find jobs. They delivered 50,000 half-pints of milk to school children and began a Well-Baby Clinic that provided immunizations and routine exams prior to the existence of a hospital on the Eastside.

In 1939, the first Overlake Service League Thrift Shop was opened on Main Street. In 1947, the Thrift Shop moved to Kemper Development property and, in 1981, made the final move to Bellevue Square Mall. In summer 2017, the thrift shop joined Bellevue LifeSpring administrative offices on the third floor of Bellevue Square and was named Thrift Culture for Bellevue LifeSpring’s culture of giving.

Overlake Service League had been supporting families in the Bellevue area for nearly 42 years by the time Bellevue was finally incorporated as a city in 1953. The League’s membership had grown to include 500 individuals in neighborhoods around the new city. By the end of the decade, it was serving more than 200 individuals per year. As Bellevue grew, so did the need. By 1985, the League was serving over 2,000 individuals per year.

In 2011, Overlake Service League celebrated 100 years of serving the Bellevue community with a Centennial Gala and changed the name of the organization to Bellevue LifeSpring to better reflect its commitment to serving families within the Bellevue School District.

Bellevue has grown, and Bellevue LifeSpring has grown with it, continuing the tradition of neighbors helping neighbors that began over a century ago.

Our Values

We are relevant, flexible, and responsive to the evolving needs in our Bellevue community.

We are inclusive of all individuals, acknowledging their value and dignity. We are committed to honoring all individuals and working in collaboration with community partners to increase our impact.

We delivery compassionate solutions with respect, empathy, and humility. We are committed to delivering our services with genuine concern for the needs of others.

We are accountable to each other and those we serve. We are transparent, fiscally responsible, and committed to teamwork and service.

Bellevue LifeSpring acknowledges that racial injustices are embedded in aspects of our daily lives that too often go unaddressed. From our Board of Directors to staff members, we pledge to hold ourselves accountable to dismantle any institutional and systemic racism, prejudice, and inequality within our Bellevue LifeSpring community and programs. We promise to uphold a culture that is inclusive and equitable for all. We consider it of utmost importance to be advocates, to be allies, and to stand in solidarity with the victims of racial, social, and economic injustice.

At Bellevue LifeSpring, We Commit to…

One – Create opportunities and remove barriers to ensure Bellevue LifeSpring programs are accessible, equitable, and inclusive of all Bellevue children and their families.

  • Action step 1: The Bellevue Family Hub, our new in-person family resource center, allows students and families to access multiple compassionate support services in one space. ​The Hub is open to all Bellevue families with children in the Bellevue School District.
  • Action step 2: Bellevue LifeSpring Listening Circles incorporate the voices of Bellevue families into organizational decision-making and service delivery.
  • Action step 3: Our Hub Connection family resource newsletter serves as a direct line of information to families. Anyone in the community is able to sign up to receive timely information about resources and opportunities for their family.
  • Action step 4: Bilingual staff, language, and accessibility website tool, and the translation of newsletters and key documents reduce language barriers to service.
  • Action step 5: Conduct surveys of the families we serve to identify gaps and learn how we can make our programs more accessible.

Two – Ensure Bellevue LifeSpring reflects the diverse population of Bellevue and the families we serve.

  • Action step #1: Broaden the recruitment of staff members, board members, circle members, and volunteers.
  • Action step #2: Prioritizing proportional representation of the community we serve in our leadership and decision-making roles.
  • Action step #3: Nurture the retention of staff members, board members, circle members, and volunteers.

Three – Promote a culture of continuous learning and dialogue within Bellevue LifeSpring (staff, board, and circle members) and our broader community (volunteers and donors) by providing ongoing opportunities and facilitating meaningful engagement in discussions and reflections on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Action step #1: Bellevue LifeSpring’s DEI Committee is composed of both board and staff members who are actively engaged in analyzing, giving feedback, and making recommendations on Bellevue LifeSpring’s operations and organizational decisions from a DEI lens.
  • Action step #2: Board and staff members intentionally engage in annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training.
  • Action step #3: Bellevue LifeSpring’s plans for a Bellevue-centric quarterly speaker series, in partnership with local organizations, will focus on DEI themes.
  • Action step #4: External DEI resources are shared in Bellevue LifeSpring’s weekly and monthly communications with our board, circle, and community members.

We recognize that this is an ongoing process of learning and growth, and we commit to continuing the conversation and keeping our community informed every step of the way.

We recognize the history of Bellevue, and we respect that we are occupying ancestral lands of the Coast Salish peoples. We honor their continuing history.

Board Of Directors

Leslie Koutroulis

President and Chair of the Board – Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, T-Mobile

Ken Russell

Immediate Past President & Chair
of the Board – CPA, Bookkeeping Done Right LLC

Keri Ellison

Secretary – Business Owner, Retired, Youth Advocate

Dr. Kelly Aramaki

Superintendent, Bellevue School District

Michelle Bomberger

CEO and Managing Attorney, Equinox Business Law Group PLLC

Julie Cheng Bui

Philanthropist & Writer

Krishnan Iyer

Retired, Microsoft

Beth McCaw

Founding Funder, Threshold Philanthropy, LLC

Debbie Oberbillig

President, SuccessView Consulting

Colleen Pacem

MSN, ARNP, Evergreen Health Primary Care

Keri Pravitz

Manager, Community Engagement – Bellevue, Amazon

Sabrina Smith Delery

Realtor, Windermere Yarrow Bay

Maggie Vergien

Educator, Retired

Tracy Wort

Director of Community Relations and Social Impact, Symetra

Emeritus Council

Trish Carpenter

Former Sales & Marketing, Fortune 500

Beth Halvorsen

Commercial Real Estate Advisor

Marilyn Herzberg

Co-Founder and Owner, Bureau of Education and Research

Anu Jain

Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Lisa James-Schiller

Principal, LJ Design, Interior Design

Benjamin Lee

President, Hong Kong Association of Washington

Dave Mayo

Technology and Business Strategist

Linda Reid

Retired, Financial Professional

Staff Members

Jennifer Fischer

Executive Director

Ericka Belmontes

Human Services Administrator

Maria Ferrari

Human Services Administrator

Brittney Goggins

Office Administrator

Amabely Gonzalez

Human Services Administrator

Elaine Hayden

Accounting

Kris Howard

Director of Events and Volunteers

Lily Iyer

Events & Volunteer Coordinator

Rachael James

Marketing and Communications Manager

Neal Mizushima

Director of Programs

Dzenita Musabegovic

Communications Outreach Coordinator

Celeste Reyes

Human Services Administrator

Travis Thompson

Director of Partnerships and Investments