COVID-19 and the Delta variant continue to cast dire shadows over our families and neighborhoods, our businesses and our way of life. However, this terrible pandemic certainly does not tarnish the bright light of kindness and generosity that continues to shine in Bellevue and the Eastside.
In this challenging year, I take daily inspiration from the selfless examples of Bellevue residents and the new and innovative new generation businesses that help run our great local nonprofits, charities, foundations and diverse service, arts and community groups and support.
These groups strive to provide support to people in need or to improve the community through art, music, history, celebrations, events, and culture. Or the dedicated people who build and represent our local business community – not to mention those who care about the beautiful parks, streams and lakes we love so much. This collective ethos really makes our wonderful and diverse city a special place to live, work, create and play for future generations.
The national initiative “Giving Tuesday” will take place on November 30th. Learn more at www.givingtuesday.org.
As someone whose family has lived in Bellevue since the 1930s, I can’t help but interact, partner, donate, promote, and be enriched with so many of these wonderful nonprofits. As we near the second year of this pandemic, some are fine but some are struggling. As we look to the rest of the year and the festive holidays, please don’t forget to help or donate, volunteer, support, or join them. Just out of your head, here are a few by category. If I miss something, please feel free to contact me and tell me about your group.
Community service and fraternal service / social groups: Rotary Club Bellevue and its Morning Siblings, the Bellevue Sunrise Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club of Bellevue, the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club, and the Eastside Masonic Center.
Companies: Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Bellevue Downtown Association, Leadership Eastside, One Eastside, and Old Bellevue Merchants Association.
Story: We connect the various groups and families that Bellevue built in our past with those who will keep this legacy alive in the future: The Eastside Heritage Center.
Music and Art: PACE / Performing Arts Center of the Eastside (formerly Tateuchi Center), Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue Arts Commission, Music Works NW, Cascadian Chorale, Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra, Village Theater & KIDSTAGE and Kid’sQuest Children’s Museum.
General, senior and children’s services: The great people at Bellevue Lifespring (formerly Overlake Service League), Youth Eastside Services (YES), Eastside Baby Corner, Hopelink, Friends of Youth, Habitat for Humanity, Sophia Way, Jubilee REACH, Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP) and Encompass.
Military veterans: The Veterans of Foreign War Hall and the nearby American Legion posts.
Nature, outdoors and sport: Bridle Trails Park Foundation, Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park, Save Lake Sammamish, Trouts Unlimited, volunteering at Bellevue Parks and Recreation and Bellevue Botanical Gardens, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, and last but not least, Mountain to Solides Greenway Trust . In addition, almost every imaginable sport is represented: Little League, swimming clubs, cycling clubs, golf, sailing, kayaking, basketball, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, lacrosse and fencing.
Culture and Health: Bellevue Sister Cities Association and the Overlake Hospital Foundation.
Education and Literature: Bellevue Schools Foundation, Bellevue PTSA, King County Library Foundation, Bellevue College Foundation. Not to mention dozens of scholarship funds and sponsors / band clubs etc. plus the Humane Society of King County and many other groups that focus on horses, dogs and cats, several neighborhood and community clubs, groups devoted to our local libraries, and Dozens of church / ministerial and international / cultural groups representing each nation around the world.
You can view all of the nonprofits, 501C-3s, and charities in the state on the Washington Secretary of State’s website. Go to company search (most nonprofits) and charities / fundraisers / trusts search at http://ccfs.sos.wa.gov.
In this oh so different Christmas season and a hopefully better New Year, I urge you to give these and other groups in Bellevue time, treasures, kindness, goods, voice, talent and wisdom or even a simple thank you. Each in their own way has made it their mission to inspire, uplift, engage, connect, educate, and help people heal as they spread joy and peace.
Let’s give them wings on November 30th.
William Shaw is the general manager of Bellevue Reporter. Contact [email protected] or 425-453-2710.