To foster stability and self-sufficiency for Bellevue’s children and their families through programs that provide food, clothing, education, and emergency assistance.
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.
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 team 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: Bilingual staff and the translation of key documents reduce language barriers to service.
Two – Provide ongoing development and learning opportunities that foster an understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially regarding Bellevue LifeSpring practices and principles.
- 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 team members intentionally engage in annual Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training.
Three – Ensure Bellevue LifeSpring reflects the diverse population of Bellevue and the families we serve.
- Action step #1: Broaden the recruitment and nurture the retention of staff, board members, circle members, and volunteers.
Four – Engage our circle members, volunteers, and the Bellevue community in dialogue and reflection on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.
- Action step #1: Bellevue LifeSpring’s plans for a Bellevue-centric quarterly speaker series, in partnership with local organizations, will focus on DEI themes.
- Action step #2: 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
Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, T-Mobile
Dr. Kelly Aramaki
Director of Product Management, Expedia Group
Julie Cheng Bui
Sabrina Smith Delery
Retired, Business Owner
CPA, Bookkeeping Done Right LLC