Congregations for Kids says “Thanks!”

Aug 31, 2021 | Beacon, Justice, News

Our partnership with Congregations for Kids continues thanks to the COVID Food Relief Project! Earlier this summer, they donated $2,000 to cover the cost of school supplies for Bellevue students. Here is a letter of Thanks!

Dear Friends,

Congregations for Kids is so grateful for your support for our 26th annual Good Start Back to School project held earlier this month.  Thank you!   It enabled us to provide backpacks and/or customized kits of supplies for 1965 students from low-income families in the Bellevue School District, who will receive them before school starts.  An additional 65 backpacks were prepared for students needing them later, for a grand total of 2030 in this 2021-22 school year.

The pandemic has made already difficult issues even more difficult for these students, and these backpacks and supplies will provide at least a semblance of normalcy to their lives.

The project ran quickly and smoothly, with preliminary work beginning Thursday, August 5, at our project site, the Spiritridge Elementary School gym. That day the 2030 customized kits of supplies were delivered. We had already purchased 37 cases of backpacks to supplement those that some of you donated and delivered the next Monday and Tuesday for the project.   Tagging and packing and then boxing up for delivery by the district’s Transportation Department to the 27 schools took place that next week.  The leftovers from this year’s project were boxed for delivery to the district warehouse, where they will stay until next August.  The project was completed before noon on Friday, August 13.

Photos from this year’s project are up on our website:  Take a look!  The first photo includes Dr. Art Jarvis, Bellevue’s Superintendent of Schools, who dropped by to see the project in action on August. 11.  Several from the Congregations for Kids Steering Committee as well as many project volunteers are in that photo.  The rest of the website is also updated or will be soon.

Here are some statistics for you about this year’s project:

  • 2030 customized kits of supplies for K-12 costing $26,650
  • Average cost of kits for K-MS, not including backpacks: $15.36 (HS kits had fewer supplies)
  • 914 backpacks packed for K, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th and 11th grades (all grades receive supplies)
  • 65 more backpacks packed for additional students
  • 37 cases of backpacks purchased costing $6513
  • 1107 elementary students helped before school starts
  • 400 middle school students helped before school starts
  • 458 high school students helped before school starts
  • 27 Bellevue public schools in which students were helped
  • 3 – lowest number of students helped in a school
  • 235 – highest number of students helped in a school
  • 7 – number of schools in which over 100 students were helped

Support this year came or is coming from 18 congregations, a retirement community, a corporation and a business. We are so grateful for your help.  It has enabled us to fill over 31,115 requests from the district over the last 26 years.

As you know, Congregations for Kids is the only organization that provides backpacks and school supplies for students in need throughout the Bellevue School District.  C4K is sponsored by Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council, which gives us nonprofit status.

Our steering committee consists of 15 volunteers from 8 congregations.  Members of the team manage, organize, contact, input, track data and serve as webmaster and photographer.  District staff advises us and stores the additional prepared backpacks to fill new requests throughout the year.

Through your generosity, you have made it possible for 1965 students to have the backpacks and/or supplies they need to start this school year.  You have shown them that you care about them, at a time when the pandemic has made caring even more important. On behalf of Congregations for Kids – and all the kids you are helping – thank you so much!

Nancy Jacobs
Chair, Congregations for Kids