C4K's annual Good Start Back to School project provides backpacks and school supplies for over 2000 requested individual K- 12 students from low-income families in the Bellevue (WA) School District. They come from many backgrounds: some are homeless, or from other countries, fleeing domestic violence, or have lost jobs. All are experiencing poverty. Over 31,115 district requests since 1996 have been filled by a small group of volunteers who purchase and prepare them. A student recipient said, "Thank you for supporting us with the supplies you give us, it really helps. It gives us a chance to learn."
Congregations for Kids, a coalition of local congregations, is comprised of a small and dedicated group of volunteers, sponsored by the Eastside Interfaith Social Concerns Council, who assist students from low-income families in the Bellevue (WA) School District to get a Good Start Back to School every fall.
Congregations for Kids' fourteen-member steering committee consists of volunteers from seven congregations. We partner with the Bellevue School District, Eastside businesses, community organizations and individuals to equip students with backpacks and supplies needed for the school year. During our 26th annual project last year we prepared backpacks and purchased customized kits of supplies for 2,030 students in all grade levels. As individuals we cannot do it alone, but together what a difference we can make, backpack by backpack!
An elementary school staff person said that even as the pandemic changed ways of learning, "Seeing the excitement on the kids' faces as they picked up backpacks and supplies showed me that they were not just necessary scholastic items, but a joyful lifeline to normalcy during such a chaotic and uneasy time- thanks to Congregations for Kids Good Start Back to School project."