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Blessings Under The Bridge

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services

Mission: Food and services for homeless individuals

Programs: Provided food and clothing for over 12,000 people in 2012

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Blessings Under the Bridge finds value in all volunteers of all ages and in those they help.

Our whole family volunteers with Blessings Under the Bridge—a local non-profit that provides for the needs of Spokane’s homeless.

New studies have shown that Spokane has a much higher than average number of homeless. These people need food, clothes, friendship, and someone to look them in the eye. Blessings Under the Bridge provides for all of those needs.

For my youngest daughter Adeline's 6th birthday, she originally wanted to drive around handing out money to homeless people. Later, she decided she wanted to have her birthday party at Blessings Under the Bridge so she and her friends could help more people. She made plans to do that with her best friend Violet, but those plans were put on hold when Violet, who suffers a number of health issues, had to be hospitalized in March.

Before Violet’s surgery, Adeline and I set up an online fundraiser for Blessings Under the Bridge. The plan was to help Violet feel better knowing that, while she was in the hospital, they would be raising money to help. She would have something to look forward to when she was well again. Plus the girls could continue their plan even though it couldn’t be in time for Adeline’s birthday.

Thanks to donors from all over, Adeline’s tzedakah bank, and Violet’s own money that she donated, the girls far surpassed their goal and were able to donate over $1700.

Their volunteer time at Blessings Under the Bridge has been amazing. First off, this is one of the only local organizations that values and encourages the effort of children. Many organizations only want volunteers over 12 or 16 or 18. Blessings Under the Bridge has something for children of all ages to do. And they really do help out. They don’t simply stand and look cute. They serve sweets or drinks. They’re real contributing members. So everyone at Blessings Under the Bridge welcomed the girls with open arms (literally). Though they were young, these girls weren’t a nuisance. They were loved and celebrated. Everyone made it very clear that they appreciated all the work the girls had done both in raising money and in coming out to help. When they found out Violet had donated the money she planned to spend at the American Girl doll store, the folks at Blessings Under the Bridge took a collection and gave the girls some money so they could still do that.

The girls served donuts that day. They did so with huge smiles. They were so happy to help. Blessings Under the Bridge gave them a way to help, saw the value in their effort, and encouraged them to continue.

Since that day, both girls have continued to help at Blessings Under the Bridge. Sometimes they go together. Sometimes they go with their families. Over the summer, inspired by Adeline’s love of the organization and the way everyone there had treated her so warmly, Adeline’s elderly grandparents insisted on going to volunteer too. Violet and Adeline are always greeted with smiles. Knowing that they are loved and that they are helping, the girls have continued to fundraise and buy supplies. They have donated flip-flops, toiletries, clothes, shoes, toys, and so much more. Jessica Kovac, one of the founders asked the girls to be a part of their 8th anniversary. So the girls baked hundreds of cupcakes and helped serve them. They had a blast and helped so many.

The girls not only know they’re appreciated, but through volunteering with Blessings Under the Bridge, they learn to appreciate others—both those who need help and those providing it. The girls adore founders Jessica and Mike Kovac. We all see how hard they work and what a difference they’re making. The girls also see the value in people in those lines. To so many, those who are homeless are seen as useless. One time, Jessica told the volunteers to make sure we look each person in the eye. She said that, for many, those Wednesday night feeds are the only time someone will be willing to do that. They spend all week feeling invisible or worthless, but they know their Wednesday nights at Blessings Under the Bridge mean not only a warm meal, but also being treated like a human being. We hand the food to everyone. We serve them. We talk to them. We’re respectful to them. We laugh with them. We treat them well because they deserve it. Blessings Under the Bridge helps the children see that when so many adults cannot.

Blessings Under the Bridge has helped our whole family see the needs of and value in Spokane’s homeless.

Review from #MyGivingStory