CEO Lauren Thomas and Jeni Craswell from Hopelink joined me today and shared how they are navigating their way through COVID, and continuing to assist thousands of families in need of food, housing, and financing. Celebrating their 50th year this April Hopelink has helped clients achieve stability through the provision of basic needs, such as shelter and food, without the stresses of homelessness and hunger, across the Eastside.
A non-profit organization that has been near and dear to my heart for years, I continue to be in awe of how much they do for the community. They are one of the most beloved non-profit agency’s in the area. When the pandemic hit their team jumped into action and designed new programs such as turning their annual Reaching Out Luncheon 100% virtual they still managed to raise $700,000! Their financial assistance alone has increased by 8 times the previous year, and have donated over one million dollars in the last 8 months.
Prior to COVID Hopelink’s food banks, which resembled grocery stores allowed clients in need of food to shop freely. With five locations across the Eastside they turned their stores into creating pre-packed boxes of food, with enough nutritious food for 21 meals, and also added a mobile market. Distributing food around the community that can’t get to their market, with a wide selection of fresh produce, dairy, breads, and frozen foods – everything is free! For a full list of their stores and hours of operations check out their foodbank website.
With extra time on their hands staying home people across the Eastside are baking bread and donating them to Hopelink through their Community Loaves Program. More than 100 bread bakers are donating fresh baked bread on Monday’s, and are added to the pre-packaged food boxes for pick up on Tuesday’s. Since the pandemic they’ve received nearly one ton of bread!
Hopelink is fantastic at putting fun, family friendly fund raisers together each year. Their annual Turkey Trot has been a favorite event for the Eastside community, and helps provide emergency services and holiday assistance to low-income families and individuals in east and north King County during the winter months.
This year they aren’t able to gather together so they are doing their first ever virtual run! Join in the community from November 16th – November 22nd in a virtual race where you choose your own course and run or walk 5k (3.1 miles). After the race, you can go to runsignup.com/hopelink, click on results tab and enter your time. They encourage you to upload your photo’s of the kids dash, pet participants, and your best turkey themed gear! Registration begins on November 1st, to sign up, or donate check out their registration page.
If you or someone you know are struggling, have found yourself out of work and need some financial help to get back on track visit Hopelink’s need help page to find the right program for you. They help thousands of families from seniors, people new to the country, education programs and more. If you can’t participate in their annual events you can help in their Take The Pledge Program – to build an equity community free of poverty. If you would like to make a donation you can visit their donation page. Follow them on Facebook for upcoming events and other ways you can help. Thank you Hopelink for all you do!