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Wrapping Up 2022 for Believe in Me: Supporting Marginalized Kids In Washington

2022 has been a big year for children in Spokane. With your help, Believe in Me has granted organizations that are helping us to build a better future for marginalized children in Washington. In addition, we were able to raise money through events where your participation was essential for us. Before the year ends, we wanted to describe our fundraising and friend-raising efforts through our community events and summarize some of the goals of every organization that was granted. More details and data from each organization granted will come in a future blog. 

Rebuilding Social Skills With the Boys and Girls Club of Spokane County

kids playing

Boys and Girls Club of Spokane County’s Triple Play Program had a goal to provide daily opportunities for kids to rebuild their social and emotional assets and physical literacy as well as engage in creative expression. This program helps counter the impact of the pandemic through activities that emphasize cooperative learning, communication, and relationship building, providing a means to practice their social skills to help kids feel connected and rebuild their emotional well-being by introducing the Kaboom Imagination Playground for their Lisa Stiles-Gyllenhammer Club.

As expected, the Imagination Playground has been embraced by club members and staff alike. Discounts by the manufacturer made it possible to add bonus components such as a dinosaur bone and mini-blocks, which have made it possible to further enhance the impact on kids.

Enhancing Well-Being With CampFire Inland Northwest

Kids outdoors

CampFire Inland Northwest’s Thrive{ology} for Underserved Youth Program received our funding to support optimal youth development; helping young people thrive in school and life. This program enhanced the well-being of participants as the youth had opportunities for in-person social interaction and outdoor activity. The social-emotional development Thrive{ology} nurtures carries over into improvements in school performance, experiences with peers, and interactions in families long after camp is over.

Evaluations of the curriculum by Camp Fire USA demonstrate that children who have participated in Thrive{ology} social-emotional learning at a Camp Fire summer camp gain good social skills, energy and confidence, a sense of purpose, and hope for their future.

Strengthening Relationships by Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin

People in Classes

Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin County’s Building Resiliency through Relationships Program has been transformative in strengthening their team’s ability to empower youth for success in the classroom and life. Forty of their school-based and administrative staff completed 40 hours of experiential, hands-on training customized specifically for their team with Casey Jackson from the Institute for Individual and Organizational Change. 

The tools their Student Support Coordinators gained allowed them to empower their youth to powerfully and honestly share their stories of resilience, perseverance, and achievement, captivated the entire audience and provided an experience their students will never forget as they continue to break barriers moving forward.

Improving STEM and ELA with Communities in Schools of Spokane County

Kids in a circle playing

Communities in Schools’ The ZoNE Expanded Learning Partnership Program 2022 goal was for youth to be more ready and prepared in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activities and ELA (English Languages Arts) to progress to the next level. Their students engage in activities that aim to improve their well-being academically, physically, and emotionally. They offer high-quality expanded learning opportunities that lead to positive behavioral outcomes for students and demonstrate an increase in social-emotional learning skills.

With the support of Believe in Me, Communities in Schools of Spokane County launched a reading and literacy club at Bemiss Elementary. They also provided opportunities to participate in sports via Skyhawks at Bemiss and Whitman Elementary schools. To offset food insecurities in the community, they held a family dinner at Lidgerwood Elementary and provided snacks and games at Whitman Elementary.

Better Education and Sleeping Safe, Thanks to Embrace Washington

Sleeping safe

The Embrace Washington Education Success Program set out to create a marketing approach with CASA and Treehouse to expand their referrals in 2022. In addition, Embrace Washington’s Education Success goal was to partner with Morning Star Boys Ranch in recruiting 50+ foster youth in Spokane to participate in the Educational Success Program. Every participant was assessed at the onset of participation and then receive personalized support to close any educational gaps, and provide homework help, test preparation, and concept mastery. After 12, 24, and 30 hours of instruction, the students are reassessed for academic progress.

One of the biggest challenges in foster care during 2022 was to meet the ongoing demand for accepting current or expanded placements of individual and sibling placements while avoiding hotel stays. Embrace Washington’s Sleep Safe Program goal was to: (1) ensure that every foster family in Spokane that requests services would have access to their program and (2) ensure that each foster child placed has the appropriate bed and bedding materials for a good night’s sleep. Thanks to a grant from Believe in Me, Embrace WA was able to provide new beds, box springs, and bedding materials for 80 foster families.

Creating Resilience With Girls Scouts of Eastern Washington and North Idaho

girl scouts selling cookies

Girl Scouts offers shelter in the storm and helps girls overcome setbacks, and enables them to move forward with grit and resilience. In addition, the Pathfinder Outreach Troops program provided the entire Girl Scout Experience to 60 marginalized girls in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Troop meetings coincide with the schools after school childcare programs, which will further break down access barriers for girls that would otherwise prevent their participation in Girl Scout Troops. This funding provided each girl with a uniform, patches, badges, activity fees, transportation, and paid Troop leaders to run the program. 

Moreover, within a month of funding, the Girls Scouts started to work with schools, set up the meeting space, and recruit girls into the program. They hired several part-time employees to run the program, and training took place immediately upon hiring.

Enhancing Community With Odyssey Youth Movement

lgbtq

Odyssey’s Hybrid Drop-In and Basic Needs Program set out to create a community of thriving LGBTQ+ youth throughout the Inland NW in 2022. Their goal was to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ youth when it comes to education, a sense of belonging, and meeting their basic needs such as food and clothing. In addition, educational programs were offered weekly, 100 programs to 150+ individual youth in the year concerning life skills, advocacy, communication, and LGBTQ+ history/culture. 

Finally, using a stair-stepped approach, Odyssey went from two in-person nights a week in early 2022, to four drop-in days for vaccinated youth in April, and now are fully opened all four days to all LGBTQ+ youth in the community.

Expanding Love Box Reach With Spokane Angels

Love Box

Spokane Angels’ Love Box Program expanded its reach in supporting foster families throughout the greater Spokane area in 2022 with help from Believe in Me. Their seasonal “Love Boxes” were delivered to foster families in the Spring, Summer, Back to School, Halloween, and during the Holiday Season. These resources help provide essential items as well as fun items to help families bond and enjoy each new season as it arrives.

Also, the Foster the Future- Back to School Event held in August 2022, was a success! The Spokane Angels had approximately 80 youths and families attend the event. There was entertainment and resources available for families.

In addition, their Dare to Dream program doubled the amount of youth who were matched with a mentor and increased the level of support the youth received each month during their monthly mentor meet-ups. Within this goal lives the need for double the number of qualified volunteer mentors, training for these mentors, and support to these mentors throughout their time mentoring youth in the program.

Keep Playing with PNW Playworks

Kids Playing Soccer

Keep Playing in Spokane supports children’s educational attainment and enrichment by providing opportunities and access to schools that currently face multiple challenges and funding barriers to access. With this program, Playworks improved the social-emotional skills of approx. With funding from Believe in Me, they were able to provide services to 965 students across four district elementary schools in the Greater Spokane community: Bemis, Michael Anderson, Broadway, and Hallett. 

In addition, ten subscriptions were provided to Keep Playing, where all the staff in the buildings have 24/7 access to the services and are able to incorporate their resources into their school days and recess activities.

Playing at The Fox With Spokane Youth Symphony

Youth in the Symphony

The Spokane Youth Symphony’s goal is to provide exemplary orchestral education and performance opportunities for the youth of the Inland Northwest. This group has been performing all live concerts at Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox since 2007. Between the Believe in Me grant, season tickets, and individual ticket sales, there were enough funds to cover the Fox Theater expenses for all four planned concerts in 2022. 

The Fox Theater enables the students to have appreciative audiences in an environment that helps them to “shine”, as opposed to school auditoriums or gymnasiums, which do not serve the student performers as well as this jewel of a performing arts theater.

Housing For Survivors by The Jonah Project

Girl Holding a key

The Jonah Project’s goal for 2022 was to continue building out their Freedom Railroad partners, and relocate clients as needed. For survivors of human trafficking, especially youth, housing is a large barrier to success. The Jonah Project offered their local host homes as “landing pads” for clients continuing their stories after graduating from their program. Training, 24/7 support, and supplying basic supplies are essential for their success.

Also, they successfully met with the KHQ team to plan out an outreach campaign. By spreading awareness of what the Jonah Project does and who they can be of service to, more people will get the help they desperately need. 

Events

Believe in Me Charity Golf Tournament

The Believe in Me team would like to thank every single person for joining us for our 2nd annual Believe in Me Charity Golf Tournament. Thanks to all the 240 golfers, 28 corporate sponsors, and 40 volunteers, the event was a huge success during both rounds.

With your generosity, we were able to bring in over $200,000! This amount exceeded our goal by over $75,000. Not only were funds raised through the event registrations, but also through the purchase of “cheats for charity”, raffle tickets, and drink tickets. In addition, the hole-in-one contest, mulligans, string, red-tee advantages, and grenade balls made the day fun, assisted teams by improving their scores, and is helping to make a difference in kids’ lives.

Tomorrow Never Dies Gala Event

mom and baby on a gala event

This first Believe in Me Gala event was inspired by the British literary and film character Bond, James Bond. With the hand of her Majesty’s secret service, this British character brought an important message to us as a community. Bond is known for his audacity, courage, intelligence, and strength, and for becoming the spy recognized as 007. However, besides portraying himself as a self-made man of mystery, he was in reality orphaned when his parents died in a mountain climbing accident. The secret to his success was his aunt, who was the person who raised him and taught him to read, to be strong, and to believe in himself. Thank you to all who attended our event and contributed to believing in the kids in our community! 

A Place To Call Home, Gingerbread Event

Girl and a baby with a gingerbread house

On December 3rd, at the Hub Sports Center in Spokane Valley, Believe in Me celebrated the 3rd annual A Place To Call Home – Gingerbread Charity Event. With a shift to post-pandemic, this is the first time we were able to hold the event in person. At this event, kids and adults joined us to celebrate the holidays while decorating gingerbread houses, spending time with Santa, and getting autographs from WSU Baseball Players

Your participation and donations made a difference for children without a home in Spokane. In addition, your generosity allowed us to give over 75 Gingerbread House kits to marginalized children and youth in our community. With your generosity, we were able to raise funds through the sale of gingerbread houses kits, the purchase of candies, and the North Pole apparel at the Candy Shop, raffle tickets, and extra donations. Thank you for your generosity during this wonderful time of giving.

Believe in Me Grant Awards

Starting in September 2022, we invited organizations with programs that are helping marginalized kids across Washington and Oregon, and North Idaho to apply for the Believe in Me 2023 Grant Cycle. This year, $300,000 in funds will be distributed to selected non-profits whose missions align with our Grant Award eligibility criteria. We are so fortunate to partner with such dedicated and passionate organizations in the effort to improve the lives of kids in our communities. You can meet our 2023 grantees here. More details regarding these awards will be presented over the next several months through a 2023 Blog series.

Thank you, grantees, donors, and volunteers for being part of this great year. We are making the difference by supporting programs that provide marginalized kids with a safe place to call home, a family that loves them, a feeling of community, and opportunities to learn, build self-esteem, and have fun.

Thank you, grantees, donors, and volunteers for being part of this great year. We are making the difference by supporting programs that provide marginalized kids with a safe place to call home, a family that loves them, a feeling of community, and opportunities to learn, build self-esteem, and have fun.

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