By Brooke Chang
A rising senior at Bellevue High School, Brooke began volunteering with Bellevue LifeSpring during her junior year, and recently completed a summer internship with their Development & Communications team. She shared insight from her experience with us, including her efforts to “burst the ‘Bellevue bubble.’”
The “Bellevue Bubble”
The “Bellevue Bubble” is a real thing. Our city is undeniably beautiful, engaging and wonderful, but many students, myself included, forget about the hardships and struggles that the other 99% of the population faces. A rising senior at Bellevue High School, I often lose sight of the poverty outside of this community, but even moreso the poverty within it. One in five children in Bellevue lives in poverty. This shocking fact is not well-known. If we remain in the dark, we remain in our bubble.
Opening My Eyes
In the past few years, I have embarked on a quest to break out of this bubble. With so many local organizations founded to help those in need, I began my volunteering journey.
In my junior year of high school, I became interested in working with Bellevue LifeSpring. With Bellevue LifeSpring, I was exposed to the immense need that many Bellevue citizens face. One of my first projects was assembling centerpieces for the annual Step Up to the Plate Benefit Luncheon. As I cut out hundreds of paper flags depicting the services that Bellevue LifeSpring offers, I realized the extent to which this organization works. One flag stated that more than 128,000 meals were distributed to Bellevue students through the Breaktime-Mealtime™ program. My jaw dropped as I realized how many children, without daily school-provided lunches, would otherwise go hungry during school breaks.
The Bellevue LifeSpring Impact
Bellevue LifeSpring has truly helped me in realizing the amount of need that exists in our community, and my potential to make a difference. As an intern with the Development and Communications team, I have had the opportunity to work with amazing people who are genuinely dedicated to this cause. With them, I have not only learned about the struggles many families encounter, but also about the immense generosity of Bellevue donors. Whether it be individuals, neighborhood groups or local businesses, there are an incredible number of people who, by giving and caring, inspired me to do more and help more every day.
Immersing myself in Bellevue LifeSpring’s work and mission proved to be an invaluable experience. Becoming aware of our community’s underprivileged population, and working to raise that awareness, is the first step that we can take to burst this “Bellevue Bubble” and lend a hand to those in need.