Summer greetings to donors, volunteers and other supporters:
Activities at the Day Center, campaign funding, highlighting volunteers, so much to share.... But first and foremost, thank you to all who have stepped up during the summer time of outdoor activities, lots of socializing and vacations to continue your support of New Bethlehem (NB) with volunteer time, meals and donations. We cannot express enough our gratitude for you!
New Bethlehem Project
The campaign to build a permanent shelter is going very well! In fact, we have raised just over $950,000 of our $1 million goal! Thank you to those who have donated! While we are close to our goal, we aren't there yet. If you, friends or family are interested in donating, please go to www.nbpshelter.org and click "Donate to Campaign." Every $20 gift helps us get closer to the million dollars. Our goal is to have 100% of the money raised by the end of this year.
Did you see the recent article in NW Catholic magazine? See https://www.nwcatholic.org/news/local/eastside-parishes-raise-700000-to-help-build-year-round-family-shelter.html.
Meeting existing friends, making new acquaintances, sharing experiences of the day and the week, listening compassionately to stories of difficult circumstances and celebrating even little successes of others. What do these have in common? They are typical of time spent at the Day Center for both guests and volunteers. With time, it even becomes as a large family. It is quite a place! If you have not volunteered before, write us to learn more.
We continue to experience an increased number of guests at the Day Center during summer and of course with school out until recently, lots of kids arrived with their family. The nice weather has allowed our guests to relax outside, kids to use the playground equipment or just run in open space, and outdoor grilling for dinner. An update of critical significance: Day Center staff have now helped 89 FAMILIES move to more stable housing since the NB opening less than two years ago! Once again, to all who participate in one way or another to support the operation of NB, thank you, as this success could not happen without you. Hooray. hooray.........
Salt House Church supports Back to School
Salt House recently completed a "Socks and Underwear Drive" to benefit the families of the Day Center. The Drive was coordinated by members of the Homelessness Thrive Team at Salt House with participation by other families from the greater Salt House community. The drive resulted in 305 new pairs of kids socks and 216 pairs of underwear! WOW, that is really phenomenal! A huge thank you to Salt House for your concern and kindness. These items will be handed out to guests soon and will help them immensely with basic needs for their kids going back to school.
Volunteer Highlight - written by Carson Stockwell, a high school student
"Carson, Carson," yelled Issac and Jacob with total excitement to see me at the Day Center on a Sunday. I matched their delight as I greeted them with a big "hello!" Issac and Jacob were two of the children I forged a special bond with during my weekly visits to the Day Center fulfilling my junior year service hour requirement for high school.
I chose NB because at various times during mass, an update was given on the homeless crisis on the Eastside with a call to action. I wanted to help. I enjoy working with children and I've been blessed with many gifts so I thought I could make a small difference by tutoring on Tuesdays. "Tutoring" sometimes took the form of "playing tag," but it was engagement with the kids nonetheless. That's how I met my friends Issac and Jacob. We looked forward to our weekly visits.
When the time came for me to choose a placement for my Eagle Scout project, I knew I wanted to have an impact at NB again. In collaboration with the Day Center, I created a trail and seating area on the grounds for visitors to enjoy. That Saturday, Issac and Jacob wanted to "help." I assigned them a small task of moving mulch and then quickly directed them to the pizza and cookies provided for the workers. They were so happy to have contributed in some way.
Being involved in NB has given me more than I have given it. It has taught me:
Unfortunate circumstances can fall on anyone at any time. God calls us not to judge but to help one another.
Issac and Jacob's friendship taught me to embrace the little things in life. They rejoiced every time they saw one another at the Day Center; something as simple as seeing a friend made their day. Over time, seeing them during the week certainly made my day.
Everyone needs a purpose. While others may have seen them as a distraction, giving Issac and Jacob a small task on my project made them feel good about themselves because they helped ME. That was humbling.
Volunteer Highlight - Dennis Bogh
Dennis is a busy guy. He is married with three grown children and works as a consultant for organizations with large industrial motors. But as his schedule allows, he often arrives at NB at 12:30 PM on Mondays for the cleaning of our spaces--showers, floors, bathrooms, etc. NB does not open for guests until 2 PM, so it allows the cleaning crew to work unimpeded. His favorite job, he stated "is cleaning floors as it makes such a big difference." Indeed, the once weekly "super clean" does result in a huge improvement and guests often comment on how fresh and neat it is. Dennis says volunteering is his response to being called by the Spirit to serve and that he knows the work at NB is needed and appreciated. Dennis lives in Woodinville and belongs to Holy Family Parish in Kirkland. We are very fortunate and grateful to have Dennis on our team!
Opportunities to Serve
There are many ways to continue to serve or to give it a try for those who have not as yet. Filling volunteer slots now is especially appreciated as we have a much greater need for volunteers with the increase in guests. Existing volunteers, please mark Saturday, October 20 on your calendar for the annual Volunteer Appreciation gathering; more information will follow.
We would like to highlight the significant need for help with the once weekly cleaning of the Day Center on Mondays from 12:30-1:30 PM. You can individually sign up or perhaps you know a group who would enjoy working together and providing this important service for NB. Ideally 4 volunteers are needed each week. Of course you can sign up once to try it and if it suits you, fit it into your schedule, maybe once monthly or whatever works for you. The primary duties for the 4 person crew include vacuuming the living and dining areas, mopping floors, running a couple of loads of laundry (primarily bath towels,) cleaning showers, restocking toiletries and helping to organize and clean the supplies and storage areas.
Volunteering See www.nbpshelter.org/volunteer and attend one of our next orientations on Sunday, September 30 or October 28, 12:30 PM at NB. Please reply to this email to register for orientation.
Provide the evening meal or snacks See www.nbpshelter.org/provide-a-meal.
Provide supplies See www.nbpshelter.org/provide-supplies.
Donate financially See www.nbpshelter.org/donate/.
Life happens. Every day, really every hour, we have many things that we need to do and that we want to do. We continue to be humbled by YOU, a group of individuals who do not forget about those in need and take time to do something about it. PLEASE KNOW YOU MAKE A HUGE CONTRIBUTION TO THEIR LIFE and we (and they) are extremely grateful.
Blessings to you,
NBDC Volunteer Committee