We have heard our congregation’s desire to support Washingtonians during this pandemic and its economic fallout. For the next few months, we will direct the Sunday offering to organizations playing a vital role in COVID-19 relief in our area. We will periodically assess which organizations to directour offerings to. The Social Justice Council does the legwork, so you know you’ll be giving to organizations that are making a difference!
We will begin with these four organizations:
Food Lifeline serves Western Washington, through direct service and partnering with food banks. Traditionally they obtained much donated food and used a staff of hundreds of volunteers. Now with COVID-19 they have rapidly retooled their operational model, streamlining their processes and using administrative staff to do much of the previously volunteer work. Food Lifeline needs funds to purchase food since they are not receiving the normal food donations. They are influential and connected. Food Lifeline, Second Harvest and Northwest Harvest are the three nonprofit food distribution leads working collaboratively to mount a statewide emergency food response through a new Food Security Coordination Team, established by Gov. Inslee. Meeting 2x/week throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the nonprofits will coordinate with representatives from the State agencies that operate food and nutrition programs like the School Breakfast and Lunch Program (OSPI), the SNAP (food stamp) program (DSHS) and the TEFAP (federal commodities) program (WSDA).
Washington Kids in Transition
Washington Kids in Transition provides food and shelter vouchers for students in the Edmonds school district who are experiencing homelessness. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need has increased. Students, particularly at Scriber Lake HS, are in need of food and housing. Some of these students are themselves heads of households, either because they are raising their own children, or because their parents are unable to provide for them. Many of these students have lost their jobs due to the current restrictions, so they are under considerable stress. Accessing food banks is often not within these teenagers’ ability.
Washington Kids also provides food for children over the weekends, bridging the time between the school district free lunch on Friday until the next free meal on Monday. Food “backpacks” are distributed throughout the district to students of all ages experiencing homelessness.
Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County
Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County provides emergency shelter and comprehensive, confidential services to all victims of domestic abuse. Their shelter does not provide enough space between beds for residents during the COVID-19 distancing restrictions. Donations help pay increased shelter costs, as they are housing folk in hotels.
Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network
Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) protects and advances the power of immigrant and refugee communities through a multiracial, multilingual, and multi-faith coalition. Their organizing strategy educates and mobilizes statewide to uphold and defend the rights and dignity of all immigrants and refugees, centering the voices of impacted communities.
During COVID-19, they are focused on responding to immigrants’ safety and human needs. They are accepting monetary donations as well as food and other items such as diapers, to deliver to immigrants. They are also helping get immigrants to doctor appointments, and making sure they know they can meet their basic needs without being put at risk.