COVID-19 and the delta variant continue to cast awful shadows on our families and neighborhoods, on our businesses and our way of life. However, this terrible pandemic certainly does not dim the bright light of kindness and generosity that continues to shine in Bellevue and the Eastside.
During this challenging year, I am inspired daily by the selfless examples of Bellevue residents and both generational and cutting edge new businesses that help operate and support our amazing local nonprofits, charities, foundations and diverse service, arts and community groups.
These groups are dedicated to help support people who are facing hardship, or enhancing the community through arts, music, history, celebrations, events and culture. Or the dedicated people who build and represent our local business community — not to mention those who help care for the beautiful parks, creeks and lake that we so love. This collective ethos makes our wonderful and diverse city truly a special place to live, work, create and play for generations to come.
The national initiative “Giving Tuesday” is Nov. 30. Learn more at www.givingtuesday.org.
As one whose family has lived in Bellevue since the 1930s, I cannot help but to interact with, partner, donate to, help promote and be enriched by so many of these wonderful nonprofits. As we approach the second year of this pandemic, some are doing well, but some are struggling. As we look at the remainder of the year and the festive holiday season, please don’t forget to try to help out or donate to, volunteer for, to patronize or join them. Just off the top of my head, here are a few by category. If I miss any, please feel free to reach out to me and tell me about your group.
Community service and fraternal service/social groups: Rotary Club of Bellevue and its morning sibling, the Bellevue Sunrise Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club of Bellevue, Bellevue Boys and Girls Club and the Eastside Masonic Center.
Business: Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Bellevue Downtown Association, Leadership Eastside, One Eastside and Old Bellevue Merchants Association.
History: Linking the diverse groups and families that built Bellevue in our past with those that will keep that legacy alive in the future: The Eastside Heritage Center.
Music and arts: 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 Theatre & KIDSTAGE and Kid’sQuest Children’s Museum.
General, senior and children’s services: The amazing folks 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 nearby American Legion posts.
Nature, outdoors and sports: 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 Sound Greenway Trust. There is also just about every sport imaginable represented: Little league, swimming clubs, biking clubs, golf, sailing, kayaking, basketball, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, lacrosse and fencing.
Cultural and health: Bellevue Sister Cities Association and the Overlake Hospital Foundation.
Education and literary: Bellevue Schools Foundation, Bellevue PTSA, King County Library Foundation, Bellevue College Foundation. Not to forget dozens of scholarship funds and boosters/band clubs, etc. Plus the Humane Society of King County and many other equine, dogs and cats oriented groups), multiple neighbourhood and community clubs, groups dedicated to our local libraries and dozens of church/ministerial and international/cultural groups representing every nation across the globe.
You can check out all nonprofit corporations, 501 C-3s and charities in the state on the Washington Secretary of State’s website. Go to corporations search (most nonprofits) and charity/fundraiser/trust search at http://ccfs.sos.wa.gov.
In this oh so different holiday season and a hopefully better New Year, I urge you to give time, treasure, kindness, goods, voice, talent and wisdom or even a simple thank you to these and other groups in Bellevue. Each in their own way, they are dedicated to inspire, lift up, to get us active, connected, educated, and help people heal while they scatter joy and peace.
On Nov. 30, let us help give them wings.
William Shaw is general manager of the Bellevue Reporter. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-453-2710.