Thursday, December 15, 2016

Giving Tree: Serving a Homeless Community in Need

Holiday dreams came true this week for 70 homeless high school students from the Everett School District. With over 3,000 homeless school-aged children in Snohomish County, homeless teens are often overlooked during the giving season. These 70 teenagers aren't just homeless, they are unaccompanied; they do not have a legal guardian. Due to devastating circumstances, it is often safer for these teens to sleep on a friend's couch, or in a car, or on the street than it is to be with their parents or guardians.

Somehow, though, these inspiring teens manage to make it to school each day to receive an education. Community Transit was moved by their stories and chose to support them through its annual employee-sponsored Giving Tree program. We partnered with Volunteers of America and Washington Kids in Transition (KIT) to ensure that these 70 teenagers were not forgotten this holiday season. Giving Trees were set up at four different locations throughout Community Transit's Everett operating bases, decorated with tags that listed a gift as well as hygiene items needed for each of the 40 male and 30 female students. Generous employee gifts ranged from warm jackets and outerwear to art sets and makeup kits.

Backpacks were stuffed to the brim with a wrapped gift, $25 gift cards to stores like Fred Meyer and Target, and hygiene kits. These backpacks were then delivered to counselors at Jackson High School, Cascade High School, Everett High School and Sequoia High School who distributed them with care and consideration to those in need. Many counselors were overwhelmed by the gifts, saying these were the only gifts many of these homeless teens would see this year.

Many thanks to Community Transit business partners Otak, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Perteet for donating brand new backpacks for the teens. Thank you, also, to Everett Costco, Fred Meyer, Target and Walmart for assisting with donations for the hygiene kits. Because of their help we were able to provide full hygiene items which make such a difference to providing these teens the dignity they deserve. Lastly, thank you to all of the Community Transit employees who participated in the Giving Tree program. Your generosity gives hope and cheer to children who, against all odds, are attending school each day to better themselves. Thank you for making a difference.


1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful and caring thing to do. Many blessing to you all. Thank you.