Washington CARES is:
C: Community/Comunidad - Washington CARES exists to support the entire Washington community – students, families, and staff.
A: Action/Acción – Washington CARES is action-oriented, trying to meet needs as they arise, whether a short-term help (i.e. meals when a family is going through cancer treatments) or long-term support (monthly grocery delivery).
R: Respect/Respeto – Washington CARES honors the dignity of every individual we work with, as we all go through difficult times in our lives. We can work completely confidentially through the school social workers.
E: Equity/Equidad – Washington CARES hopes to help remove barriers so that ALL Washington students can be ready to receive an excellent education every day.
S: Smiles/Sonrisas – Washington CARES hopes to inspire many smiles, both from care-recipients and donors.
No matter how well we plan, many of us experience unexpected and difficult life events, such as job loss, divorce, or the illness or death of a loved one. In those times of need, the Washington community supports one another through a variety of ways, including Washington CARES, an initiative of the PTA that is supported by our school social workers and is designed to assist Washington families during challenging times.
Washington CARES provides fellow community members with a variety of supports tailored to address specific needs. We keep our school social worker’s office stocked with extra snacks for hungry students. We distribute turkeys for Thanksgiving and gift cards for the holidays to Washington families in need. We coordinate a group of Washington parents who volunteer to participate in monthly grocery deliveries to 10 – 15 families who have been identified by our school social worker. We solicit donations informally from our school community as other needs arrive. For example, we have collected cribs, beds, and other furnishings for families in need, and monetary donations for a family with a parent in hospice. We do this while protecting the privacy of both the donors and the recipients.
Washington CARES is funded primarily through donations from within our own community. We raise money through a mix of informal solicitations and more routine activities, including a holiday drive, a spring fundraiser and monthly fundraisers at local restaurants.
If you are a Washington family in need of assistance, please contact Allie Harned. If you are a Washington family interested in supporting Washington CARES, please contact Tracy Juell. Or, next time you’re at the grocery store, consider picking up a non-perishable snack for our school social worker to keep in her office (you can drop off snacks at the school’s front office). Alternatively, consider supporting a family in need of food assistance. By donating $25 a month (or making a one-time contribution of $250) you can provide groceries for one of our families for the entire school year.
Whether you need assistance or want to support others in need, anytime of the year, we are eager to hear from you and work with you to further strengthen our wonderful Washington community. Thank you!