August 21, 2012
Children win when community unites
The club challenge was just a small part of a wonderful outpouring of support to fill 1,000 backpacks for kids registered with the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.
Numerous groups got together to coordinate the drive. The PTSA Council and Issaquah Education Association kicked things off by gathering donations of gift cards that could be used to purchase school supplies.
Local company SanMar and its employees donated 1,000 backpacks. That was a huge hurdle! Kiwanis Club of Issaquah and the Issaquah Schools Foundation made multithousand-dollar donations to combine with cash donations to the food bank. A massive order was placed for the paper, pencils, notebooks, crayons and more to combine with the donations from local families, churches and organizations.
The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce hosted a three-hour cash mob at Office Depot during which the community purchased $5,900 in supplies and “stuffed the bus” with overflowing shopping bags.
AtWork! donated its warehouse space for the pallets of supplies and the subsequent stuffing party. Kiwanis coordinated the stuffing of the backpacks by club members, food bank volunteers, members of Aktion Club of Salmon Country and others. It took two evenings of assembly-line packing to get the job done.
The Issaquah School District was instrumental, too, helping get the word out to low-income families who are not necessarily food bank clients.
The kids have been coming to select their packs. Some choose flowery designs, other prefer the sporty look. There was something for everyone. Each is stuffed with the supplies needed to start school off right when the bell rings next week.
Once again, the community came together to show its support of kids and their education. Way to go, Issaquah!