Celebrating Back-To-School

There is no way to stop the days on the calendar from creeping forward. In the blink of an eye, summer was over. And with back-to-school time clearly in view, learners of all ages at Mercy Housing Northwest communities in Bellingham, Snohomish, Seattle, Tacoma, and Vancouver geared up for the return to school.

At Mercy Housing Northwest’s office in the Rainier Valley, a small group of volunteers sorted supplies by age group. Their mission was to ensure every child and every teen had school supplies for the year ahead. After a few days of organizing, the school supplies were ready to go to several Mercy Housing Northwest affordable housing communities stretching from Bellingham to Vancouver.

Within these communities, the Resident Services teams, many including local volunteers from nearby schools and parent-teacher associations, helped ready rooms for supplies. For weeks, they were hard at work hoping to make the selection of supplies fun and exciting for the students who call Mercy Housing home.

Here are some Back-to-School highlights:

1. One hundred and twenty backpacks were donated to Mercy Othello Plaza student residents thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr Elementary. At the celebration, students got to meet the principal from Aki Kurose Middle School.

2. Gardner House staff helped parents fill out paperwork to ensure their students were enrolled and ready for school. Representatives from Seattle Public Schools and the local Head Start program were on hand to answer questions and relax some of those “first day of school” jitters.

3. A celebration at Sterling Meadows in Bellingham featured a guest DJ, a tostada bar, and fruity drinks for students and their parents. Thanks to representatives from the school district, the City of Bellingham, Bellingham Public Library, and the Washington 529 program who volunteered to help make the day a fun one.

4. At Evergreen Vista I & II, students received school supplies donated by the Olympia Police Department. Plus, A local barber/stylist was also on hand to make sure students looked sharp on their first day of school.

5. In total, Mercy Housing Northwest staff and community volunteers distributed over 1,000 backpacks to students. Thank you to everyone who took the time to ensure that every student returned to school with the supplies they needed for a successful school year!