Our Right Now Needs Fund partnership with Amazon is making a big impact for students and families in need in Bellevue.
Our partnership with Amazon began in 2020 when they committed $700,000 to Bellevue LifeSpring each year for two years. Amazon’s continued investment reflects a transformative collaboration where we innovate together to provide basic needs and eliminate barriers to learning for all students.
Amazon made an additional investment this school year and provided Bellevue LifeSpring with $150,000 in Amazon Gift Cards. These gift cards are used to support students from low-income households at all 29 schools in the Bellevue School District.
The Right Now Needs Fund provides a wide range of support for families and covers expenses not typically provided by nonprofits but essential to help support a student’s success in the classroom. The Right Now Needs Fund helped parents pay utility bills — keeping the heat on and the water running — medical bills, an ambulance bill for a child, glasses for a student, and provided essential educational materials in the classroom.
Recently, a Bellevue School District teacher was able to purchase much-needed supplies to support social-emotional learning in her classroom. The children had fun using their new educational games.
“With the Amazon gift card, I was able to buy items that boosted student engagement and motivation,” shared a Bellevue School District teacher. “I meet with reading intervention groups from different grades, and I use fake money during my time with them to increase participation while we are reading.
With this money, the kids can buy fun prizes that I purchased using the Amazon gift card. I also was able to buy board games that I would use to play reading games. Thank you so much for this gift. It truly has benefitted the students’ well-being and learning.”
“Our colleagues are working with students and families during these incredibly tough times, and many of the families need support from the Right Now Needs Fund,” said Julie Bronson, Family Engagement and Preschool Coordinator at the Bellevue School District. “The challenges are wide-ranging, from food and clothing needs to help with housing while facing financial challenges and other emergencies. We are very grateful for the support from Amazon and our partnership with both the Amazon and Bellevue LifeSpring teams because it ensures a quick response so that no child goes without basic supports that we all deserve.”
Stories of Impact
When a family is living paycheck to paycheck, even one unexpected bill or one day of lost wages can lead to immediate financial insecurity. These periods can result in children experiencing hunger or families being evicted. The Right Now Needs Fund helps ensure thousands of Bellevue children from low-income households have the support needed to succeed.
Meet Fatima – Fatima is a single mom in Bellevue and is the sole provider for her children. When she came down with COVID-19, she could not work for some time. To try and stay on top of her bills, Fatima reached out to the Family Engagement Specialist at her child’s school. Thanks to the Right Now Needs Fund, Bellevue LifeSpring covered her overdue utility bills, taking this burden off her shoulders and allowing her to focus on getting back on her feet.
Meet Joan – Joan was in the midst of undergoing cancer treatment when her child suddenly needed emergency dental surgery. Bills were piling up, and she wasn’t able to financially make all the ends meet. Joan was unsure if there would be money left to cover the next month’s rent and purchase groceries. The school district referred her to Bellevue LifeSpring, and thanks to the Right Now Needs Fund, we were able to cover the cost of the emergency dental surgery. We also provided Joan and her child with grocery store food vouchers and clothing gift cards to ensure they had the support they needed to make it through this challenging time.
Meet Ahmad – Ahmad, his wife, and his children are refugees who were relocated to Bellevue. The initial assistance his family received for refugee resettlement has been exhausted. He and his wife were waiting for their social security numbers to come so they could work in the US. Meanwhile, rent and bills were piling up. Thanks to the Right Now Needs Fund, Bellevue LifeSpring was able to cover the utility payments to provide the family with some relief and stability during their transition.
Thank you to our partners at Amazon for their incredible leadership and dedication to supporting Bellevue children and families!
Names have been changed in the “Stories of Impact” section.