Jared Darr’s Holiday Donation

This year I donated to Sally’s house, they provide a safe place to live for 20 children (age 2-12) who have been removed from their parents, caregivers, or unfit homes.

Sally’s House is the only emergency foster care program in Washington. Some of the children have been abandoned, abused or neglected. Others are victims of domestic violence. Some lived with sex offenders or in drug houses, their parents arrested and taken to jail.

Children often arrive upset, disoriented, and with little more than the clothes on their back. At Sally’s House, children receive clothes, meals, social skills, tutoring, transportation to their original school, activities, supervised visits with family, books, toys, a personal quilt, and on-site counseling.

Its such a great cause, and I’m glad I was able to help them this holiday season, thank you Nick, Tyler and Jeff.

Allison Spencer’s Holiday Donation

This year I decided to split my donation and give to two different programs. The first is one that I’ve donated to for the past few years – the Clarkston Fire Department’s “Bikes for Kids” program. My brother is a firefighter at the department and heads up the program each holiday season. He works with local schools to gather a list of low income families who don’t have a mode of transportation to get their kids to school each day. The department then chooses as many families as they can from those lists, based on the quantity of donations they receive, and purchase bikes and/or scooters for the children in those families. The past few years I’ve been able to join the team on Christmas morning when they deliver the bikes, which has been pretty unreal. It is very evident how needy these families are when we pull up. The kids are so excited and emotional, and generally the bikes the department provides are the only gifts these kids will receive for Christmas. We’ve been their highest sponsor over the past few years and have allowed them to provide more bikes to kids and families than they could have ever expected. The demand is high in the Lewis/Clark Valley, and even touching a few of the families in need makes a huge difference. I’ll send pictures after the deliveries take place on Christmas morning!

The second half I decided to donate to an amazing program in Spokane called Meals on Wheels. I’ve volunteered for Meals on Wheels over the years delivering Cinnagrams on Valentine’s Day and have seen first-hand how lonely and malnourished some of our elderly population truly is. The thought of being alone and unable to meet your own proper nutritional needs at that stage in life absolutely breaks my heart. The Meals on Wheels program delivers hot, nutritious meals to those who are elderly, disabled and alone in their homes. The objective is “to provide the proper nutrition to those individuals who cannot meet the need on their own.” It allows these people to stay in their homes instead of prematurely being placed in a nursing home. They also provide a social lifeline for seniors who live alone and rarely or never have the opportunity to interact with someone, let alone eat with them. Of the seniors receiving meals in their home, 76% live alone and 44% have incomes less than $1,000 per month. 80% have 2 or fewer meals per day, and 5% rarely eat with someone (2010 stats). Currently, Meals on Wheels no longer receives state funding, causing their budget to be slashed by 46.5%. They’re in desperate need for help so they can rescue and keep their program alive! Here’s their site if you’d like to research more info! http://www.mowspokane.org/ Also, attached is a photo of Jesse, Kenny James and I in front of Meals on Wheels when we dropped off our donations!

Thank you so much for continuing the tradition to share in the spirit of giving each year here at Seven2. It’s so amazing to have the opportunity to really make a difference in someone’s life. You guys are unbelievably gracious to both the community and to all of us employees. I’m so thankful to be a part of what Seven2 is and for the opportunity to share that love and grace with the community through these donations.

Alex Brandt’s Holiday Donation

I donated the funds to the Brain and Behaviour Foundation. Close to two years ago I had a very close friend take his own life. He had depression issues, but I had no idea he was in danger. The warning signs aren’t always apparent. A sudden bout of happiness and expressed contentment are often shown after they’ve mentally committed to take their own life, and obviously this can be misconstrued as a sign that they are recovering. Many people hide their suffering, even from those they love, so it’s essential for us to know the signs and how to help.

The Brain and Behaviour Foundation deals specifically with mental health. Considering the neglect and misunderstanding our country has towards mental health, now seems like a pivotal point to start making changes. Most of us have dealt with varying degrees of depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental problems, so it is important for our country to know how to support those who are suffering. The BBF uses 100% of their donations to fund research, public education, and treatment for those in need. Their overhead is covered by their own fund raising, so you know all of your money is going to be used appropriately. They are also the highest rated mental health foundation by charity watchdog groups.


Hana-Lee Sedgwick’s Holiday Donation

This year, I decided to donate to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. SB Rescue Mission has been around since 1965 and provides shelter and hot food to the homeless, and offers a 12-month recovery program for men and women trying to break free from drug and alcohol addiction. They teach Christian principles to help people physically, emotionally and spiritually overcome their troubles, as well as provide educational services to help them get back on their feet.

Instead of donating money, I looked at the list of needs and decided I would buy a bunch of items to donate. I loaded up on toiletries, socks and food. All the goods filled up 4 FULL bags, and then some!

During this time of year, it’s easy to overlook how much we all have (roof over our heads, food in the fridge, hot water…), but giving back to the less fortunate is a good reminder of how blessed we all are. There’s someone very close to me who has struggled with homelessness and addiction on and off throughout his life and I understand how difficult it is to bounce back from. It’s an honor to be able to contribute to this organization and help people come back from homelessness and despair.

Thank you Tyler and Nick for allowing us all to contribute to different charities, year in and year out. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to give back during the holidays.

If you’re interested, check out the success stories (http://www.sbrm.org/category/success-stories). Pretty inspirational.

Leslie Sanborn’s Holiday Donation

Like Taylor, I donated to a charity called At The Core. After reading his donation recap, I went to their website and found out that 24,280 children in Spokane County are food deprived – that’s 1-4 kids. So knowing that a local charity is giving food to kids on a weekly basis that don’t have enough really moved me. Kids don’t get to choose what situation they are in and this a wonderful and needed local support system. As previously mentioned, often during the week the only meals these children get is a school lunch and during the weekend they don’t have anything to eat. At The Core creates meals just to get them by till Monday.

Thanks Taylor for impacting my decision in where I wanted to donate the money to, I am super happy to help out a cause that is greatly needed in the Spokane area.

Website: http://www.lifeatthecore.org/index.html

Callen Flaherty’s Holiday Donation

This year I decided to donate to the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

For those of you unfamiliar with this cause, the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery was founded in 1987 in memory of Vanessa Behan, who died from child abuse injuries at the age of two. The tragedy of Vanessa’s death outraged and saddened the Spokane community. A handful of people decided to act, initiating a grassroots effort to create a safe place where parents could bring their children any time they are having difficulty providing them with safe and nurturing care. And for children, it provides a haven of unconditional love and attention from adults whose only hope is to create lifetime memories of security. For almost 28 years, the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery has served as a safe haven for more than 80,000 children.

In college, I had the opportunity to volunteer for a similar cause and witnessed firsthand how important a facility like this is to children in need of solace and a place of refuge. So, I’m ecstatic that I get to donate to them this year!

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to make a difference this Christmas. Thank you Tyler & Nick!!!

Jacob Varns’s Holiday Donation

I decided to donate to a Charity called Child’s Play. Child’s Play buys toys, video games, and children’s essentials like strollers for children’s hospitals. It sucks being a kid stuck in a hospital, especially around the holidays, but these guys and gals try to help make their stay feel a little less like a prison sentence. They currently donate to over 100 Hospitals including Sacred Heart Children’s here in Spokane. Thanks Jeff, Nick, and Tyler for letting me help give to those in need. http://www.childsplaycharity.org/

Matt Cardoza’s Holiday Donation

We donated to Libby Center/Odyssey this year. The Libby Center’s mission is to “maximize each student’s skills and knowledge through specially designed instruction and differentiated learning opportunities for all learners,” and provides a 5th-8th grade accelerated learning program. Zander is almost halfway through 5th grade and it’s been amazing seeing not just his gains in academics but just general maturity. While this is a Spokane District 81 school, they kind of exist outside the normal rules and don’t have many things that are taken for granted at other schools (like a bus schedule). In addition to a personal donation, the donation from Seven2 supports College Camp, Lego Robotics, Math is Cool, Science Bowl, Theatre, World Language, Classroom Support, Special Events and a whole lot more that helps these students not just expand their brains but get those social experiences and friendships that are super valuable.

Thanks to Nick & Tyler for the opportunity and for continuing this great tradition!

Ryan Baldwin’s Holiday Donation

Tori and I donated to two charities this year.

The first was to Team Gleason (http://www.teamgleason.org/). The goals of Team Gleason are to generate public awareness for ALS, raise funding to empower those with ALS to live a rewarding life, and ultimately find a cure. Though this is a debilitating and ultimately terminal disease, it’s awesome to see an organization that not only attempts to push for a cure, but also sets an example of living life to its fullest.

We also donated to SCRAPS. Over the past few years, they have taken in more animals than usual, including a large number of abused and neglected horses and cows. It’s a great blessing to be able to give back to an organization that takes responsibility for the protection and welfare of animals.

Thanks to Nick and Tyler for giving us the opportunity to give back, and to everyone at Seven2 and 14Four for working so hard to keep this tradition going.

Taylor Klundt’s Holiday Donation

I donated to a charity called At The Core, same one I gave to last year. At The Core is an charity that gives food to kids that don’t have enough over the weekend. Often during the week the only meals these children get is a school lunch and during the weekend they don’t have anything to eat. At The Core creates meals just to get them by till Monday.