EASTSIDE INTERFAITH SOCIAL CONCERNS COUNCIL MINUTES
P.O. Box 662, Bellevue, WA 98009-0662
March 11, 2014
Visit our newly remodeled website at EISCC.net
The meeting was held in Bristol Hall of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church beginning at 12:00 noon.
WELCOME: The meeting was called to order and conducted by EISCC President Warren Marquardson.
OPENING REFLECTION: The planned presenter did not arrive in time to provide an opening reflection.
SELF-INTRODUCTIONS were made by 27 representatives and guests.
MINUTES of the February 11, 2014, meeting were approved as submitted.
TREASURER’S REPORT: The Treasurer was not present at the meeting.Warren indicated that organizations can go to the Members page of our website to see if we have received their dues contributions for the current year.When 2014 dues have been received and processed, the list will show 2014 next to the organization name.
REFRESHMENT COORDINATOR: Many thanks to Hero House, Sandy Lewis, Warren Marquardson, Trish Rogers, and Anne St. Germain for providing the day’s refreshments.
Congregations for Kids: Nancy Jacobs reported that the decision had been made not to provide every child with a new backpack each year, although they will continue to receive new supplies every year.Instead, they will receive a new backpack every other year unless the backpack otherwise needs replacement.A decision has also been made to try a pilot program to provide at-risk children with new books.In addition, they will give picture dictionaries to all first-graders in the Good Start Back to School program.The program theoretically could see some areas of savings because of fewer backpacks to buy, but this will be offset by the cost of the books and the higher prices for sturdier backpacks for high school students .
Backpack Meals: Jan Starr thanked fundraiser participants and reported that approximately $3000 had been raised by the event.Additional donations will still be accepted.
Legislative Coordinator:Trish Rogers reported that several bills on human trafficking were passing in the legislature (this has since happened and all are on their way to the Governor’s desk).This includes SB 6339 on involuntary servitude, HB1791 on human trafficking, and HB1292 on vacating prostitution convictions for trafficked individuals.Susan Morrisson reported that Gun Responsibility did not make it through the legislature this session.She also advised that initiative petitions for the fall election are currently circulating to get money out of politics – this includes declaring that corporations are not people and money is not speech.You can visit WAMEND.org for more information.
Special Item:Sandy Lewis reported that the Rector at her place of worship, the Church of the Resurrection, would be retiring and the church will be closing its doors.She is currently searching for a new religious home.
Adopt a House: Stacey Witte spoke about this project of Congregations for the Homeless.There are seven homes, each with a manager and five or six men working their way to independence.They are looking for groups or individuals who would be willing to partner fully or in part to help with ancillary needs of these programs.You could provide cleaning products and essential household products for one of the homes three or four times a year.You could help to build community by hosting a pizza party, barbecue, game night, or potluck.You could help with gardening, clean up, or maintenance projects at one of the homes.To volunteer or for more information, call Stacey at 425-765-1782.
Emergency Feeding Program (EFP):Ron Dent spoke about this program, which provides bags of food for the hungry.The bags contain 15 varieties of non-perishable food packs.They have over 180 distribution partners – including churches, public health clinics, etc.. Their 2013 Annual Report will be out soon with a full reporting of their work for the last year.They served approximately 23,000 people with about 19,000 food packs.They were pleased that the Washington legislature approved money for food support during the legislative session this year.They are now operating out of their new, more long-term facility in Renton which is located at 851 Houser Way N, just behind Fry’s at the Landing.They are pleased to be participating in a challenge grant program which will match donations based on the total raised by an organization as a percentage of the total raised by all challenge participants. The EFP is hosting an Open House at their new facility on Saturday, April 12, from 3 pm to 8 pm.Live music and light refreshments will be served from 5 pm to 8 pm.You are invited to come and see their mission in action!
PROGRAM: Eastside Baby Corner
Renee Zimmerman, the Executive Director of Eastside Baby Corner, spoke to us about their work.The group was founded 24 years ago by Karen Ridlon, who has now set up six more similar organizations using this model.Karen was a nurse practitioner who found that many of those leaving her care were without needed food, clothing, or supplies.Although the organization remains primarily volunteer based, a decision was made recently to hire an executive director for the program in the hope that this step would help to assure the long-term sustainability of the program.
In particular, Eastside Baby Corner provides baby formula, diapers, and car seats for new families in need.They have also provided maternity wear.They donated 600,000 diapers last year alone.They work with 140 contacts in 58 local agencies such as hospitals, agencies, Hopelink, food banks, and Friends of Youth.The children served range from birth to age 12.The need continues to be greater than can be currently met.
On the Eastside, there are 40 to 50 core volunteers who, along with other volunteers, contribute 2100 hours each month.They have been filling approximately 46,000 orders per year – up to 1100 orders each week.Total value of recent annual donations is approximately $4.5 million.This has included 8,000 packets of clothing, shoes, socks, and books; 800 layettes for new babies; and 3000 cans of formula.In addition, they often provide special birthday packets for those otherwise unable to celebrate such an occasion with gifts.
How can you help?Contribute to Eastside Baby Corner as your congregation’s ‘Mission of the Month.’Conduct a special drive for diapers, clothing, or formula. Collect old (but serviceable) clothing.Invite a presentation about Eastside Baby Corner at your congregation or local service group.Provide volunteer service hours.
They have drop off facilities at their Issaquah Hub at 1510 NW Maple Street in Issaquah on Mondays 5:30 pm to 8:pm.They have additional drop off facilities at Marymoor Self Storage and at Issaquah Highlands Self-Storage. More information about those facilities can be found here http://www.babycorner.org/donate-goods/.Drop off hours at those locations are, Thursday 9 am to 11 am and Saturday 9 am to 12 noon.
Helen Christian, now on the Eastside Baby Corner Board of Directors, provided a volunteer testimonial for the program.She lauded the groups focus on ‘cherishing every child.’For more information about the Eastside Baby Corner, visit the group’s website at www.babycorner.org.If you would like to view the video that was played at the EISCC meeting, use this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqvnJKkMrL0.An even shorter video can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jMmMwQq9cw. If you would like to volunteer, contact Christy Garrard at christyG@babycorner.org.Tours of their facilities are available.
Elizabeth Maupin described the new Family Drop-in Center being opened in Issaquah.This is a program for Issaquah School District residents who have lost or are about to lose their homes.The center is a grass-roots effort.Volunteers are there to offer companionship and a listening ear during this time of housing instability.For support, visit Thursdays, 2 to 4 pm, at Community Hall, 180 E. Sunset Way, Issaquah.The program is run by the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition.For more information, call 206-478-3899.
Karina O’Malley reminded us that Springtime in Paris, the Sophia Way Dinner and Benefit Auction, was to be held Saturday, March 15, 2014, from 5 to 9 pm at the Bellevue Hilton, $125.She also reported that the Women’s Winter Shelter is now at Bellevue First Congregational and accommodating approximately 30 women and families.They need blankets and help with meals.
Ron Dent of the Emergency Feeding Program said that the Washington State Legislature approved an increase in funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP).The House and Senate still need to reconcile their respective versions, so the precise figure is not yet available.It is believed the increase will be between $800,000 and $1 million.The increase will benefithunger fighting agencies and food banks throughout Washington State, including the Emergency Feeding Program.
Dave Bowlan of Hopelink also offered his thanks to all of those who lobbied the Washington State legislature for human services funding in this year’s budget.
The first Bridge Disability Ministries’ Sunday Evening Celebration for April will be held on Sunday, April 6th, 4-6pm, at Highland Covenant Church, 15022 Bel-Red Rd, Bellevue, 98007. The second will be held on Sunday, April 27, 4-6pm, at John Knox Presbyterian Church, 109 SW Normandy Rd., Seattle, 98166. Dinner will be provided. Join them for Fun, Food, Faith & Fellowship! There is no charge, everyone is welcome and volunteers are very much needed and appreciated. Call (425) 885-1006 ext#118 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Susan Morrisson reported on the Compassionate Communities conference that was to be held
on that approaching weekend.Karen Armstrong, principal organizer behind the Charter for Compassion, was to be the featured speaker.
Karen Studders reported that the document recording fee EHB 2368 needed calls to urge its passage by the legislature.The bill addresses the problem faced by many homeless and low income people that they are often required to pay multiple credit reporting fees in order to apply for housing.
Karen also reported that there was to be a ‘March for 15‘ in support of the $15 hourly minimum wage at Judkin’s Park, 2150 S Norman St., Seattle, that Saturday, March 15, from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Lucille Hammond reported that there would be a Hero House luncheon the next Monday, March 17, 2014.The main speaker was to be a trainer in Non-violent Communication.Hero House can be reached at (425) 614-1282.
Warren reported that he would be testifying on a proposed City of Bellevue marijuana ordinance on Monday evening, March 17.
Hopelink will be putting on a Poverty Simulation workshop at East Shore Unitarian Church, 12700 SE 32nd Street, Bellevue, on Saturday, April 5, from 9 am to noon.Role-play a month in the lives of struggling individuals and families.What choices would you make if you had too little time and money to meet your needs?Consider how awareness, collaboration, and action can help those in need.No charge.As space is limited, pre-registration is highly recommended.RSVP online at eastshoreunitarian.org and click on “Poverty Simulation” or call the church at 425-747-3780.Walk-in participants may be accommodated as space allows. « Previous Events
CLOSING REFLECTION: The meeting ended with a closing reading from Helen Keller by Jerry Hatfield.
THE NEXT EISCC MEETING will take place on Tuesday, April 8, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
PROGRAM: SEX TRAFFICKING.
LOCATION: BRISTOL HALL, ST. MARGARET’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 4228 FACTORIA BOULEVARD SE, BELLEVUE (ACROSS FROM NEWPORT HIGH SCHOOL)