This post was contributed by Kira Zylstra, Solid Ground Stabilization Services Director, who participated in Solid Ground’s 2014 Holiday Giving campaign.
The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, and for those in our community with the fewest resources, it can also bring added stress and hardship. Because of this, Solid Ground worked to support the families participating in our housing stabilization programs through the 2014 Holiday Giving Program.
We launched the program by asking for community support to provide gifts and financial contributions that could assist in providing each participating family with a gift package including household items, children’s toys, and gift cards for food.
With gifts and donations from local businesses – and individual gifts through Solid Ground’s website – we were able to raise nearly $12,000 to support 115 families who are currently experiencing homelessness or on the brink of losing their housing. This support lessened the burden for these families and allowed space for community and celebration at a time when even meeting basic needs can be a struggle.
Some of our 2014 Holiday Giving Partners included:
- Barnes & Noble
- The Boeing Company
- Calfo Harrigan Leyh & Eakes, LLP
- Fremont Chamber of Commerce
- Our Beginning
- St. Benedict School & Parish
- Seattle City Attorney’s Office
- UW Office of Research
- Windermere CoHo Team
One of our key supporters on this campaign was a young leader from Holy Names Academy, Alyssa Frugé. Alyssa volunteers with Solid Ground’s Resource Development team, and in addition to her ongoing data entry projects, she took on a new challenge to further support Solid Ground’s programs during the holiday season. Alyssa led a project to support the Holiday Giving program through her church, St. Benedict Parish, and was able to provide the greatest level of giving from any one donor in the program. The Parish and School provided these gifts as part of an even larger campaign which collected over 700 gifts for programs across the city of Seattle.
St. Benedict Parish and School alone provided 97 gifts, which single-handedly supported 30 local families who are currently homeless or at risk of losing their housing. Alyssa brought great enthusiasm and determination to this project of creating holiday baskets. When we first discussed the campaign and how many families we were hoping to support, she immediately wanted to set a goal of having each and every family supported.
Alyssa boldly set a goal of 100 gift tags for the Parish, which was already supporting a number of other community projects, and her commitment brought us to our goal. “It makes me grateful and simply happy to know my service has helped others, and I think volunteering is an excellent way to grow as an individual,” she says. “The holiday fundraiser helped me improve my speaking and marketing skills, and taught me the values of being an assertive and persuasive leader.”
The Holiday Giving program was a success in 2014 thanks to the effort and support of so many generous individuals and organizations.