COVID safety protocols led to a different looking Lake Washington School District (LWSD) Culinary Competition this year. The event took place virtually with students cooking from their own kitchens.
LWSD Season of Giving 2020
'Tis the Season of Giving in Lake Washington School District (LWSD). Each year schools and district buildings across LWSD think of ways to benefit those most in need during the holiday season. They do so by holding food or clothing drives, or collecting items to donate to others in the community. The items collected are distributed to families and non-profit organizations throughout the area.
This list will be updated regularly to share what some of the schools are doing this year to make the season a little brighter:
Now that's a whole lot of toys!
Fletcher Rugge, a third grade student at Clara Barton Elementary, organized his very own toy drive with Blair Lovatt, the school's counselor. Together, they donated toys to families that were identified as needing help. Thanks to Fletcher's giving spirit, 14 families who aren't able to buy gifts for their families this year, will benefit from his drive. Way to go, Fletcher!
Handmade masks raise funds for Toys for Tots
The holiday season is a time to give back especially to those in need and that's exactly what Melody Kieffer did. All on her own, the Office Manager at Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary sewed 75 masks, each stitched with love, and sold them to people in the community. Altogether she collected $500; plus, Lexus of Bellevue will match the donation! Melody is humbled to donate $1220.00 to Toys for Tots, a program that is known for bringing joy to the holidays by gifting toys to America's less fortunate children.
Franklin Elementary spreads kindness this holiday season
Throughout November, the Benjamin Franklin Elementary PTA and school community hosted a three-week kindness drive, with a different suggested donation theme each week. Franklin families, students and staff members generously came together to donate over hundreds of books to put into the hands of our students, bags full of new or gently-used coats to keep our families warm and many boxes of cereal that went to a local food bank.
The school also held their third annual "Winter Wishes" campaign to provide gifts, toiletries, food and other desired items for our families that are experiencing challenging circumstances. Franklin's school counselor, Marissa Hoffman, coordinated the drive and collected over $2,000 worth of donated items that will go directly to Franklin families for the holidays.
LWSD Bus Driver Association reaches goal in annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign
Due to safety concerns surrounding COVID-19, the annual LWSD Bus Driver Association’s “Stuff the Bus” toy drive benefiting Hopelink went online instead of taking in person donations. They didn’t seem to miss a beat this year. The LWSD Bus Driver’s Association surpassed their goal of raising $2,021 by collecting $3,825, thanks to the help of nearly 6058 donors.
The association started this toy drive in 2018 because bus drivers heard stories from so many students about not having a holiday season to remember based on hard times for their families. In 2018, our community donated over 800 toys and in 2019, over 1,000 toys were collected! This year, in lieu of toys, gift cards will be purchased by Hopelink and distributed to families so they can purchase their own gifts online or in stores.
To contribute, visit: bit.ly/SOGTransportation
Muir Elementary community unites to give gifts and spread kindness
Staff at John Muir Elementary School are coming together to show acts of kindness when others need them the most this holiday season. Muir Elementary partnered with their own PTSA, Nourishing Networks, Toy Shop and Eastside Baby Corner to provide 47 families with gifts. More than 500 gifts were wrapped by staff and delivered to families in need. Staff are hopeful that their students can learn from this toy drive by thinking of others during the holiday season and the rest of the year too.
LWSD supports Friends of Youth
Each year, the Lake Washington School District Leadership Team (including both Central Office leaders and building administrators) collects clothing items or toys to be donated to a local non-profit that supports our students and families. This year, leaders joined efforts to collect funds to be donated to Friends of Youth, a local non-profit that helps young people in challenging circumstances get their lives back on track. Together, the team donated $3,120 to Friends of Youth. On Wednesday, December 16, LWSD Superintendent, Dr. Jon Holmen, met with Friends of Youth CEO Paul Lwali to officially hand off the donation. Mr. Lwali indicated that a donation such as this allows them to continue food services for their emergency shelter for 30-45 days. He indicated that the only way Friends of Youth has been able to maintain their emergency shelter is through generous donations made by individuals and groups. This donation will provide a warm holiday meal and significantly more meals over the next few months. Mr. Lwali extended his appreciation to the Lake Washington School District administrators for their kindness and generosity.
Audubon Elementary invites you to “Be a Holiday Hero”
From December 14-17, Audubon Elementary's Green Team is conducting a clothes and essential items drive. All donations will go to Mary’s Place, a shelter in our community that provides support to women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness. We are asking the community to donate gently used clothing items such as coats, blankets, raincoats, towels, as well as essential items like hand sanitizer, cough drops, body wash and lotion.
Donations can be dropped-off at boxes in the front of the school entrance between December 14-16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on December 17 from 9 am to noon.
Redmond Elementary cooks up Thanksgiving feasts
Teachers and administrators at Redmond Elementary worked together to cook and buy traditional Thanksgiving food to give to our families in need.
Samantha Smith Elementary hosted its annual food drive in November in support of the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. During COVID-19 closures, these facilities are tremendously important for our local community members. The school is collecting only items from the food bank's emergency needs list (please contact school for more information). The school collected donation items between November 16-25.
As of November 30, Smith Elementary collected more than 500 pounds of goods for the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.
EMS drive-up food drive to benefit Northwest Harvest
Evergreen Middle School ASB and leadership students hosted a no-contact, drive-up food drive to benefit Northwest Harvest on November 21. As families drove up through the bus lane in front of the school, there were designated areas at least six feet apart where they could place their donations.
The drive-up food drive ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, November 21 near the front entrance of the school. If you couldn't make it on Saturday, there was a labeled collection bin in front of the main doors all week (November 16-20). Any and all donations of non-perishable, new packaged food items at this time are appreciated.
I-CERV Thanksgiving Food Drive
I-CERV (Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering) group held a Thanksgiving Food Drive at the Ismaili Jamatkhana in Kirkland (12505 115th Ave NE, WA 98034) on Saturday, November 21, 2020.
Volunteers from I-CERV, the City of Kirkland, the Lake Washington School District and Nourishing Networks Central were onsite to provide a safe, contactless way to donate food. All donations benefit families in the Lake Washington School District.
The event collected about 8,000 pounds of food which was distributed to families identified by our counselors and delivered by our transportation department in time for Thanksgiving. It was truly a team effort!
LWSD employees raise nearly $67,000 during annual United Way campaign
The annual LWSD United Way campaign wrapped up on November 6, and staff members did a great job of chipping in to help people across King County; including needy families right here in Lake Washington School District. Employees raised a total of $66,752. A big thank you to the nearly 300 staff members who voluntarily contributed or participated in this event. The money will go a long way in serving those in need throughout King County as well as students and families in our district.