After launching a community-service referral program a couple of years ago, Insurance Services Group in Edmonds, Washington, was looking for a great nonprofit to support.
Starting out small
“We came across the parents behind Washington Kids in Transition in a local news article,” said company president Trevor Campbell, “and we were amazed to learn how many students in our own community don’t have anything to eat once they leave school for the day.”
Since 2015, Insurance Services Group has been providing $10 to the Lake Forest Park organization for each referral they receive. But the company’s support goes well beyond the financial. “When opportunities arise to help pack snacks, we encourage any and all team members to step away from their desk during the day,” Campbell said. “Nobody is required to volunteer or give, but everyone has a desire to help any way they can.”
An invisible problem
The young people served by Washington Kids in Transition are in dire need of that help, according to executive director Kim Gorney, who helped found the organization in 2014 after learning about the scope of hunger in the area.
Since then, what started as a snack-packing group of parents has grown into much more. Today, Washington Kids in Transition provides emergency closets for clothing, food, and toiletries at local schools, along with rent and utilities assistance and even motel stays for homeless families or those fleeing domestic violence.
The organization also recently organized a resource fair and offered free dental kits, professional photos, and haircuts. This was all while continuing to stock more than 32,000 snack bags this school year alone, so students have food to eat when they are not at school.
“We saw the amazing work these parents were doing, and there was a real need for support and help,” Campbell said.
“Our team thought we could make a difference in the lives of local students and their families.”
They’ve already made a difference, but now their impact will get a boost, thanks to a 2017 Safeco Insurance Make More Happen Award. The honor comes with up to a $10,000 donation to Washington Kids in Transition from Safeco on behalf of Insurance Services Group.
That money means “We won’t have to turn requests for help away,” Gorney said.
“We are so blessed to have the support of Trevor and his staff,” Gorney added. “Each month, they pack sacks to be distributed on school buses, and they come with big smiles and enthusiasm. Their partnership has played a big part in helping these vulnerable kids.”
Learn more about these Make More Happen winners: