On June 24, over 60 agencies and around 200 volunteers will join forces for Care Day to provide a variety of services and goods to low income and needy families.
“Everything is free. There is no charge for anything at the event. And everybody gets to go home with a bag of groceries,” said Tim King, the chairman of the Community Care Alliance, the nonprofit organization that puts on Care Day.
The participating agencies at Care Day include the Department of Social and Health Services, United Way of King County, Molina Healthcare, Smile Partners, ORCA and King County 2-1-1. Also present at the event will be food banks, dentists, housing agencies, shelter agencies, domestic violence help agencies, vision and hearing services, legal services, veterinarians, hair stylists and many others.
In order to obtain many of the services offered, residents would normally have to travel to different parts of the city and may even have to take time off work.
“This is a way where all of the service agencies can come together in one spot. Guests can walk around the room from table to table and they’re all right there,” King said.
Guests will be able to take home not only groceries, but also new shoes, hygiene kits and children’s play kits.
“Care Day has three objectives,” he said. “We want to help our needy neighbors that we have in our community. We are trying to tighten the safety net that does exist in our community. We are trying to raise the profile and educate the community that we do have needy families here. It’s really easy to see the fancy cars and big houses and the wineries and think that everything is great. But we do have a two-tier economy here.”
A primary focus of the event is to offer support to parents and their children. “Part of the strategy is to provide resources to bridge that gap from the time that school ends to the time that school begins,” King said.
Students who are able to receive lunches or supplies from school lose those benefits once school is out for the summer.
One of the main partners of the event is the Northshore School District. “The school district is very gracious,” said King. “We are all on the same side. We are trying to help these families raise their kids to be ready and able to learn when they come to school.”
The idea for Care Day evolved out of a group of people who all decided they wanted to do something positive to help the community. When they researched ways to help, they discovered events similar to Care Day happening outside of the Northshore area, but could not find one that offered services to their own community.
“The Woodinville Bothell area is sort of a hole in the safety net where a lot of services will provide some support to the area but they’re not in the area. They are primarily in Seattle and Everett,” King said.
Care Day runs off the support of many volunteers with different skill-sets. You can sign up to help with setup or teardown, checking in guests, childcare, donation distribution or meal distribution. The event also needs translators and those interested in accompanying guests throughout the facility as a guide.
“For our volunteers, it’s a lot of fun. You see people get help that day, not a promise of help, but help,” King said.
Care Day will take place on June 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Northshore Junior High, located in Bothell at 12101 NE 160th Street. Visit careday.net or call 1-844-9CAREDAY to find out more about the event and to sign up as a volunteer.