Bellevue Companies Join the Fight Against Poverty
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
During the complex challenges of 2020, joining forces with local corporations and harnessing our strengths for the greater good has proven successful in creating positive change.
Bellevue LifeSpring values our corporate partners who have shown up this year in support of Bellevue kids. COVID-19 has made this year incredibly difficult for Bellevue families in need. Partnerships with companies like Amazon, The Bellevue Collection, Microsoft, Safeway and Symetra have been fundamental to achieving our goal of preventing hunger and homelessness for Bellevue children.
This year, our partners at Amazon created a Right Now Needs Fund to support students in Bellevue. Amazon established this fund with a $700,000 commitment to Bellevue LifeSpring each year for the next two years. This is an exciting collaboration between Amazon, Bellevue LifeSpring and the Bellevue School District. Their investment reflects a true partnership where we will innovate together to provide basic needs and eliminate barriers to learning for all students.
“The start of this school year is difficult for many families in need across the Puget Sound, and we want to provide more students from underserved communities with what they need to be successful while learning from home, whether that’s new technology, healthy meals, or a lifeline to call in a pinch,” said David Zapolsky, Amazon General Counsel and Senior Vice President and Alliance for Education board member. “We value speed, flexibility, and scale when we build and operate. Our Right Now Needs Funds help schools exercise these same values to support students in the community and we’re excited to extend this support to Bellevue with our support of Bellevue LifeSpring.”
Safeway, our food partner since 2014, made a $115,000 investment this year to our COVID-19 relief fund. Our partnership with Safeway on our grocery store voucher program is set up so that we only pay for the amount of the vouchers that are redeemed by the families we support, ensuring no food goes to waste and that donor dollars are used efficiently and effectively. This September, Bellevue LifeSpring also benefited from Safeway’s Nourishing Neighbor program, where community donations made at check-out at Bellevue stores were donated to Bellevue LifeSpring to help ensure local children get the nutrition they need. We will also be receiving donations from the two Safeway stores located in Bellevue during the Food Lifeline campaign this November and December.
“Safeway is pleased to partner with Bellevue LifeSpring because of their strong partnership with the Bellevue School District in identifying the families that are struggling within the region. We believe everyone should be assured meaningful access to basic needs of food, shelter and education and Bellevue LifeSpring has been very effective in helping families meet these needs,” shared Sara Osborne, Director of External Affairs for Safeway. “For instance, the grocery food voucher program not only provides these families access to food, but it also reinforces dignity and agency for the families to shop in the same way as other families, and select food consistent with their cultural preferences and dietary restrictions.”
Our longtime partners, The Bellevue Collection, contributed over $50,000 to our COVID-19 relief fund this year. Local tech giant Microsoft also contributed big this year to fight hunger and homelessness, along with hosting Bellevue LifeSpring for an event during their employee giving campaign this fall. Symetra, a diversified financial services company headquartered here in Bellevue, continued their support of Bellevue kids this year with a $25,000 donation.
We are grateful for the leadership of these companies and more who have generously invested in the well-being of Bellevue kids during this uncertain time. These bold investments go immediately toward nutritional support and eviction prevention for local families living in poverty and have helped us to not turn away any child in need of our services.
Since March, we have provided 551,960 meals to Bellevue students and we have provided rent assistance for 266 families, preventing homelessness for 553 children. Thanks to our community’s support, we’re changing lives and building a stronger Bellevue together.
Why Partner With Us?
Transparency – Bellevue LifeSpring has always been committed to transparency when it comes to how we are using funding to serve the community. We created a donor dashboard so that the community can see how their investments are making an impact for Bellevue kids.
Accountability – We have been serving Bellevue children in need since 1911. Our close partnership with the Bellevue School District, ensures we reach the children in most urgent need.
Fight Hunger and Homelessness in Your Backyard – Currently, an estimated 4,200 children in Bellevue live in poverty. That number is continuing to increase due to the effects of COVID-19. We can work to change this together.
Raise Awareness and Build Community – When a company supports Bellevue LifeSpring, it increases the visibility that poverty exists here in Bellevue – a fact which most people so not know. Working together builds a stronger Bellevue for all community members.
Let’s Join Forces
While we’ve made great strides, we know there is still much work to do. By becoming a corporate partner, companies demonstrate to Bellevue children that they believe in their futures.
To achieve our goal of ensuring no child in Bellevue experiences hunger or homelessness as a result of this virus, we have set a goal to raise $1.4 million by December 31, 2020. This will provide food vouchers and emergency rent assistance to families right here in our community. Right now, we are 39% of the way toward that goal. Big investments from local corporations can help to close this gap.
For more information on partnering with us, please contact Travis Thompson, Director of Investments and Partnerships, at TravisT@BellevueLifeSpring.org.