Feeling charitable this season? Here are some Eastside nonprofits and charities worthy of your donation and/or volunteer time.
Mission: To improve teacher diversity and retention in Washington
“When there are more teachers of color it directly impacts minority students, and what we want to do is provide quality education to all students, especially people of color. Forty-four percent of the students in our schools are of color, and only 8 percent of the teachers are. Having minority teachers will improve the performance of students of color.” — Edgar Martinez, co-founder
Mission: To inspire and enable young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.
“Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue serves over 11,000 members and their families, providing a safe, fun place that encourages kids to live healthy lifestyles, give back to their community, and achieve academic success. … By strengthening the community, the club looks to inspire all young people to make life choices that help them realize their full potential.” — Ryan Scott, vice president
Mission: Hopelink promotes self-sufficiency among homeless and low -income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities living in north and east King County.
“Hopelink offers an integrated array of programs that enable families in crisis to make progress toward and achieve self-sufficiency, including food banks, housing, energy assistance, adult education, family development, and transportation. We serve 60,000 people every year, through 35 different programs. (Our) goal for 2015 is to expand our services in north and east King County to help more people in need gain stability and self-sufficiency.” — Kris Betker, spokesperson
Mission: To foster stability for Bellevue’s children and their families through food, clothing, and education programs.
Founded: 1911 as Overlake Service League; name changed in 2011
“There are 4,000 reported children living in poverty in Bellevue; 150 are reported homeless. But we know there are many, many more. We know families are living in their cars in church parking lots. We know high school students are homeless and couch surfing from house to house. People don’t realize that in Bellevue children are desperate and need our help. These are the children and their families Bellevue LifeSpring serves. … Last year, we provided 82,000 meals and 60,000 snacks to these children. This year we can do more.” — Jennifer Fischer, executive director
Mission: To provide people with disabilities with physical and emotional therapy through horseback riding.
“Our secret ingredient is the richness of the horses and what they bring to the equation. We have traditional occupation therapy, (are) about to add speech therapy, and have adapted sport riding. … Improvement in the arena translates directly to improved living in everyday life. Whether it is social or physical strength or learning to communicate, there is nothing more empowering.” — Mary Gleason, development director
Mission: Career Path Services provides workforce development services to individuals and employers in Washington.
Headquarters: Renton (South King County office)
“We plan to put 2,000 people to work this year. Customers we serve include those on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, veterans,homeless, disadvantaged youth, offenders, and persons with disabilities.” — Cami Hanson, COO
Mission: Birthday Dreams is dedicated to bringing the joy of a birthday party to homeless children.
“Many of the families we assist are trying so hard to just survive another day; the children have never celebrated a birthday. These children carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Birthday Dreams ensures that these children get one day to be the center of attention and experience a simple moment of pure joy.” — Laura Coumont, marketing director
Mission: To provide disabled and disadvantaged children the opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing with a volunteer.
Mission: To provide transitional housing for homeless mothers and homeless men recovering from substance abuse.
Mission: Hero House assists people with mental illness with reaching their educational, employment, and life-fulfillment goals.
Mission: Youth Eastside Services helps children and families coping with challenges such as emotional distress, substance abuse, and violence through intervention, outreach, and counseling.
Mission: CryOut holds after-school music, dance, visual arts, and education workshops to promote youth expression and educate youths about diversity, sexuality, and spirituality.
Mission: To provide emergency services to homeless individuals living outdoors without organized shelter.
Mission: Kindering offers therapy, special education, and counseling for children with special needs and their families.
Mission: To surround students with a community of support and provide both academic and non-academic services to help them stay in school.
Mission: The Renton Community Foundation advocates charitable giving to Renton-area nonprofits.
Mission: To provide services that improve mobility and promote inclusion for disabled people.
Mission: To enrich the quality of life for children though music lessons, music therapy, and performances.
Mission: To empower people with disabilities by assisting with employment and community involvement.
Mission: To provide transitional housing and employment assistance to homeless children and families
Mission: Allied Arts encourages appreciation of and participation in the arts by hosting community art shows and performances.