After 15 years on the Eastside with the last eight at its facility near Crossroads in Bellevue, the Salvation Army Eastside is alive, well and very busy. It is so busy helping neighbors in need and compensating for lost grant funding, that the organization held its first ever fundraising breakfast this morning at the Bellevue Hyatt.
King County Councilwoman Jane Hague and Bellevue Mayor Conrad Lee spoke to the importance of the Eastside Corps' good work, which serves Bellevue, Bothell, Kirkland, Woodinville, Mercer Island and Redmond.
"My commitment to the Salvation Army is a result of as a child helping my Rotarian dad ring the bell in Indiana," recalled Hague, who observed. "The faith and good works of this organization lives on in the Eastside with its many services that range from emergency shelters to financial assistance, after school care and shelters. We are also seeing more middle class clients coming to the Salvation Army for assistance."
In his comments, Major Doug Tollerud explained, "The Salvation Army work is about bringing warmth to those in misery. We do this with your help because we have a responsibility to our fellows because our Lord asked us to do it."
Following Tollerud, Mayor Lee further underscored the fact that not everyone on the Eastside is affluent.
"We see a lot of people in Bellevue and on the Eastside who need food, clothing and services," said an impassioned Lee. "The government can't and shouldn't do everything. That's why it is important that the Salvation Army is there in times of need, serving families, kids and immigrants, providing a spiritual connection, direction and reaffirming the value of why we do good works."
Here are just a few programs and services offered this year by the Salvation Army Eastside:
Hot meals: 14,000 meals served
After School Program: 65 kids
Financial Assistance – 1,500 people
Food bags: 1,900 distributed
Sports leagues: 64 kids
Clothing assistance: 400 people
Hygiene Bags: 700 people
Thanksgiving & Christmas – 2,400 people assisted.
The Eastside Corps is located at 911 164th Ave. NE in Bellevue. To learn more about programs, to volunteer or donate, contact Lt. Darryck Dwelle at 425-802-9429.