UPDATE, Jan. 2: The principal of John Muir Elementary in the Kingsgate area has sent a letter to Dave Asher of the Kirkland Nourishing Network thanking the organization for its effort to collect and distribute food over the holidays to families in need with students at the school. Here is the letter in full.
Dear Kirkland Nourishing Network,
As principal of John Muir Elementary, and on behalf of our school community, I want to send a sincere thank you to everyone who donated their time and resources to provide food boxes to so many of our families here on December 17th. Your generosity, caring, concern, and dedication to meeting the needs of families here in our own community that was made abundantly evident was greatly appreciated. I have known many of the families served by this project for years and can assure you they are most grateful.
One of the highlights of this day for me was meeting many
of you as you brought in your donations or helped to
coordinate the delivery of the boxes to the families. It
validated for me my strongly held belief that there is a
tremendous interest in our area of meeting the needs of
families in our own community. John Muir Elementary is a
unique school here in the Lake Washington School
District. We are fortunate to serve the most economically
and ethnically diverse group of students in the district.
Many of our families came to this country to provide a
better life for their children, the same as families have
done since this country was founded. We have worked very
hard as a school community to help our families meet their
basics needs, but as a school our time and resources are
limited. It has been my goal that we would be able to
work collaboratively with the larger Kirkland community to
meet the basic needs of our students so we can focus on
providing an outstanding education that will allow them to
achieve their own American Dream. Your willingness to
donate your time and resources will help make this happen
for students and their families.
The Kirkland Nourishing Network is creating a model of
what it means to be a community. Thank you for going out
of your way to make a difference in the life of a child by
being a part of this network. Happy Holidays.
Principal, John Muir Elementary School
Lake Washington School District
425-936-2640 / 14012 132ND AVE NE Kirkland, WA 98034
Some of Kirkland’s most needy people are enjoying a healthier and happier holiday season after dozens of volunteers and donations resulted in a second December delivery of food on Thursday, this time to 25 families.
“Our cup runneth over,” said Kirkland City Councilman Dave Asher, one of the organizers of Nourishing Networks.
Boxes of food were collected at the the Mormon Chapel in the Kingsgate area, and Thursday afternoon the families arrived to pick it up, most of them with children at nearby John Muir Elementary.
Volunteers and donations came from all across the community. Nourishing Networks began in 2011 as an effort to fill in the gaps that were not being met by the existing support system in north and east King County. Today there are five, in Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah, and the Northshore area.
In this holiday food drive, produce and packed good were delivered to families in need were made just before Christmas and on Thursday. The families were chosen by the counselor at John Muir, the only elementary in the Lake Washington School District where more than 50 percent of the student are eligible for free lunches. That area of Kirkland has a large population of Hmong people, an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
“The need is huge and we’re so grateful for the community support,” said Lynnette Apley, a member of the school’s PTSA who coordinates with Nourishing Networks. “The goal is to connect everyone out there who can help with the families who need it.”
Many individuals and entities supported the project. The Kirkland Firefighters' Benevolent Association provided thousands of dollars to fill over 80 food boxes. Also helping were the Kirkland Rotary Club, both Kirkland Kiwanis clubs and the Lake Washington Optimist Club. PTSA support was strong, and some elementary school classes also volunteered to donate boxes. Earlier this month the the Kirkland City Council approved a contribution of this year's Rotary Club Duck Dash tax receipts to the Network.