We’re Starting A New Empowerment Program

FamilyWorks is excited to announce the formation of an empowerment group, “Finding Strength through Loss“, focused on adults coping with loss.

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People can experience loss in many ways— the death of a loved one, divorce, opportunities, housing or access to their children. The purpose of this group is to provide a safe place for people to unburden themselves of grief and find connection. Our focus will be to encourage mutual support among community members as we move through these losses. 

We’d like to provide this powerful connection as a weekly or biweekly open meeting, TBD by the members attending. Any adult 18+ is welcome to join. The group’s first meeting is Tues, Feb. 14th from 2:30-3:30 pm and will meet in the Cheryl Cobbs conference room located across from the food bank at our Wallingford location.

Any questions can be directed to Hayley Berra, MSW-C, at (206) 694-6842.

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2016 Holiday Helper Program

“During the 2016 holiday season the FamilyWorks’ holiday program helped over 100 families—more than 225 children—this year!   Our efforts would not be met without the generosity of donors and partnerships throughout the community.  This program gave our families the opportunity to engage in the holiday season without the barriers of financial hardship.  Gifts came from families, organizations, anonymously and with great grandeur!  We cannot thank you enough.  We will carry our gratefulness for all of you into the new year.”

Special thanks to the people and organizations:
University Village
PNA
Calvary Church
Little Friends Preschool
Top Ten Toys
Shannon Hayes – Group Health
Shaelynn Christine – Pantsuit Nation

Gladys Martinez – FamilyWorks Family Program Coordinator

 

Edsel Blanche, Family Programs Coordinator, had this story to tell of an experience he had working with the Holiday Program.

“Arriving in the parking lot during a cold afternoon, I grabbed a couple of holiday donations to bring into the FamilyWorks’ Resource Center. The red ribbons and holiday wrapping caught an eye of a man by the name of Jorge. Exiting the building after he grabbed some food from the food bank, he was accompanied by his son. Jorge kindly asked if there was anywhere that offered toys for his four children.

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Holiday Helper recipients writing thank you cards.

In the middle of the lot, we began chatting for a couple of minutes. I asked if he knew about the holiday program at FamilyWorks to see if he was already enrolled. Since he was new to the area and it was his very first time going to this food bank Jorge wasn’t aware of the program. I explained in detail what the Resource Center offered and highly encouraged him to visit us, not only for the holiday program but to utilize the other resources we offered as well, such as meeting with the Family Advocate. With determination Jorge assured me that he’d visit within the next couple of days after I gave him one of my cards with my contact information.

In a few days, I saw Jorge, along with his family, inside our Resource Center connecting with our Family Advocate. It was great to see them getting familiar with the organization as a whole and then later going into the holiday program to pick out gifts. As we connected and discussed what specific items he was looking for, he asked his son to come over and told him to show me the bottom of his shoes. Lifting his foot up, there were holes and tears. The sole was so bad it was to the point where it looked like an open toed shoe, where you could see his baby blue socks hanging out. Luckily we were able to find shoes that fit his son’s feet perfectly, Jorge was extremely happy, and with gratitude thanked me multiple times that his son had a new pair of shoes to wear at school.

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Holiday Helper recipients writing thank you cards.

This holiday program allowed Jorge to not only to get materials such as toys and clothing for his children, it meant a kind gesture during a rough time as he transitioned to living within the Wallingford neighborhood. The pressure to provide for his children during the holiday season was alleviated, and he left FamilyWorks with a smile on his face.”

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Help FamilyWorks Create a Happy Holiday for Children in Our Community!

If you are looking for meaningful ways for your family to help other struggling families this holiday season, consider engaging with the FamilyWorks Holiday Extravaganza!  Our goal is to be able to give parents of 200 children the opportunity to ‘shop’ for a gift for their child. You can help by donating NEW gifts for our Holiday Extravaganza!

If you are doing any shopping on Amazon or want some good ideas, check out our Amazon wish list. It has a variety of toys, art supplies and books. Select FamilyWorks for the destination and it will be shipped right to us!

Alternately, you can buy items when doing other shopping around your neighborhood and drop items off at FamilyWorks. We are looking for a variety of items for children ages 0 – 17.

Some ideas for gifts include:

* Warm clothes – ranging fromeng image baby to teen sizes/designs such as hooded sweatshirts, jackets, pants

* Shoes – ranging from baby to teen/adult sizes

* Kid-friendly art and craft supplies, journals, colored pens

* Stickers, sticker books, activity books

* Kids puzzles

* Dolls, including Disney themed toys

* Legos, small Lego kits

* Character/Themed toys such as Superheroes, Frozen, My Little Pony, etc.

* Science kits, STEM gifts (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

* Lip balm, nail polish, hair ties

* Ear phones/ear buds

* Children’s books: ranging from board/crinkle/baby books (English and Spanish) to young adult books

* Board games

* Gift cards to Target, Fred Meyer, Safeway etc. in $25 increments to provide a meal for the family

Look at the Amazon wish list for ideas or call FamilyWorks at 206-694-6727 if you have any questions. Alternately, if there is something a child you know likes, there is a good chance our families’ children might like it too!

We aim to have all items at FamilyWorks by December 9th. You can drop off items at FamilyWorks, 1501N. 45th St on Mondays 9:30-12, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 9:30-5, or Fridays 9:30-3.

Thank you for your help making a great holiday for all families in our community!

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2016 School Supply Drive

The following was written by Hayley Berra, one of our Family Advocates, and the organizer of this year’s School Supply Drive.

I want to give the biggest thanks to everyone who donated and helped with the FamilyWorks School Supply Drive on August 25th.  We had an amazing turnout—over 100 kids walked away with backpacks and needed school supplies!  More families were able to pick up extra supplies in the days following our event.  Many parents told me how grateful they were for the help, and it was wonderful to see the children get excited over choosing their own backpack and supplies.  It was a day full of excitement, love and generosity of spirit.  We look forward to next year’s event.

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Two students showing off their new backpacks

We had many generous donations from both individuals and organizations.  Gift of Grace Lutheran Church, here in Wallingford, even provided space to store the items.

 

Thank you to our donors: Wells Fargo, Verity Bank, Girl Scout Troop 44411, St. Andrew’s, Wallingford Presbyterian, Target, Gift of Grace Lutheran, Gothic Pride Seattle, Solid Ground and our friends: Lauren, Jake, Sylvia, Priya, Annabel, Heather, Sibby, Jesse, Kathryn, Victoria

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“I feel very lucky and extremely grateful.”

The following is a brief testimonial from one of our neighbors in Greenwood who utilizes the Greenwood Food Resource Center. It can be easy to make assumptions about why someone may need to access free food at a Food Bank, but this person’s story demonstrates that any of us could find ourselves susceptible to food insecurity.

I’m probably not your idea of a typical food bank client. I’m well-educated, and an experienced employee. However, a combination of circumstances, along with health challenges, made me seek public assistance, including from the food bank. I’m currently unemployed.

Since the GFRC opened, I have visited almost weekly. The volunteers have always been friendly, courteous, and kind. The managers have taken a personal interest in my needs, and have always sought ways to help make my situation easier. The quality, quantity, and variety of the food has been more than adequate and nutritious.
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Without this assistance, I probably would not starve; however, the resource helps me save money that I can use for other essentials, including rent and health care. I feel very lucky and extremely grateful.
September is Hunger Action Month, and if you make a donation during September to purchase food for the Greenwood Food Resource Center our board will match your donation!* Make a donation today and double your impact!
  • – Up to a total of $3,000.

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Buying or Selling a Home Benefits FamilyWorks

FamilyWorks has a unique partnership with Jamie Flaxman, a local real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Bain. For buyers and sellers who mention FamilyWorks, Jamie and Coldwell Banker will donate 10% of their side of the commission on the sale to FamilyWorks. As a result, over the past 12 months, FamilyWorks has received over $10,000 in donations.

Jamie is a member of the Jamie with sign croppedFamilyWorks Board of Directors. As a former non-profit professional, Jamie has a strong commitment to philanthropy and helping those in need. Coldwell Banker Bain’s Community Partnership program has allowed Jamie to combine her passions for FamilyWorks and real estate.

Jamie says “I love helping people find the home of their dreams and I love helping people sell their homes to move on to the next stage of their lives. This is why my tagline is ‘Building Community. One Home at a Time.’”

Jamie can help you with all your real estate needs – whether it’s a vacation home on Whidbey, a condo downtown, a Wallingford craftsman, or a home in Bellevue, Jamie can help you, your friends, and your family with their real estate transactions. For more information on buying or selling a home and benefiting FamilyWorks with the sale, contact Jamie at Jamie@JamieFlaxman.com.

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Running for FamilyWorks Food Bank

The following message was sent to us from Conrad Smith, a longtime Food Bank volunteer, who has organized a community campaign fundraiser for FamilyWorks. Just like Conrad, you too can support FamilyWorks in your own unique way! Visit the Choose Your Own Adventure page to see how your fundraising idea can benefit FamilyWorks.

Hello FamilyWorks Community. My name is Conrad Smith. I’ve been around this community for a while, helping out in several capacities. I’ve been a runner for YEARS and after many miles and lots of good living, had to have a full hip replacement.conrad smith 3

That was in December. Well, I’m already back to running and now I can run up to five miles just five months after getting a brand new hip. I figure the best way to give back is to put my new hip to some fundraising use, so this July, I will join 11 others from my company (Corporate Visions) to run the 196 mile, Pacific Northwest Passage relay from the Peace Arch to Langley (Whidbey Island).

I’ll be raising money for my favorite local charity  – FamilyWorks in Wallingford. I’ve attached a more recent picture of me helping out in the food bank, but if you go to the link below, you’ll get to see a picture of me that may bring a smile (or a laugh). Please take a look at the link and donate what you can – thanks.

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