As you know, on August 7th we launched a backpack drive. For the last 4 weeks, we have collected backpacks from you, the church, and have connected with our ministry partners and schools seeking donations.
One of our partners was able to support our efforts in a big way. Snohomish County Toys For Tots receive a significant amount of backpacks and are quite often faced with the problem of finding places for them to go. Since we were already running our backpack drive, we were able to help. Through our partners at Casino Road Ministries, we made a connection with Horizon Elementary school in the Casino Road neighborhood of Everett.
Horizon Elementary School
In total, 780 students go to Horizon Elementary School and identify primarily as Hispanic, Multiracial, and Asian/Pacific Islander. Eight-five percent of the 780 students here have subsidized lunches.
With a mixture of Foundation Church and Toy’s for Tots donations, we loaded the car full of supplies and dropped them off on August 23rd. Approximately 60 backpacks were donated and have now been given to help students in South Everett who cannot afford them.
Hawthorne Elementary School
The following week, with donations supplied directly from our congregation, Pastor Ryan and I were able to donate over 20 backpacks filled with school supplies to Hawthorn Elementary School in the Delta neighborhood of North Everett. Five hundred and three students go to Hawthorne Elementary School and identify primarily as Asian/Pacific Islander; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and Black, non-Hispanic. Fifty-six percent of the 503 students here are paying reduced lunch prices. Hawthorne is in one of the lowest income and depressed neighborhoods of the Everett area and is marked by many first generation immigrants and section 8 housing.
Other Schools Blessed by Our Donations
With the remaining backpacks, we were able to meet some specific needs at a behavioral disorder specialty classroom at Emerson Elementary. This class focuses on working with children who have special needs like Autism, etc. We were also able to bless students at Discovery Elementary School, Voyager Elementary School and Totem Falls Elementary.
More Than Just Backpacks
One of the best aspects of my job is that I get to be the person who connects with and actually hands off the fruit of your generosity. I’ve been able to give food to the Everett Gospel Mission after our Thanksgiving Family Meal, I’ve given flowers to women's shelters after Easter, and now I’ve been blessed to give out the backpacks you donated to some extremely needy schools.
While I was distributing these backpacks I was struck by some of the intangible things that your donations were going to achieve in these kids lives. In elementary school, I was bullied fairly frequently and I know that, for someone inclined to bully, they will look for anything they can find to tease a kid. I know that, for someone who might be a target of this bullying, they can have apprehension towards the start of a new school year — especially if they are underprivileged —fearing that they might give someone an opportunity to bully them.
Foundation Church, with this backpack drive we did more than just equip students to succeed academically. You also helped students succeed in social situations, in their confidence, and in their security. Thank you for meeting both tangible and intangible needs. You made a difference going into this school year.
Ministry Operations Director