KIN Thanks Sterling Savings and Honors Campbell Hill Elementary
(click to see story)
Kids in Need Resource Center
Program Continues to Expand;
Now Serving 155 Schools, 57,000 Kids

One of the most dynamic programs to help needy western Washington students succeed is Kids in Need, a program that furnishes basic school supplies to low income students.

The Kids in Need Resource Center opened its doors in September 1999, a partnership between World Vision, the SHOPA Foundation, the Boeing Company and Boeing Bluebills, Boeing retirees and their spouses.

In the first year, $500,000 worth of supplies from the resource center's shelves went to the classrooms of 20 nearby schools.

This year, the Bluebills will be welcoming more than 2,000 teachers from 155 schools, who will be shopping for 57,000 children in need of basic school supplies. More than $1.25 million in supplies will be distributed.

On any given shopping day, visitors will find an eager, friendly staff of Bluebills waiting to give a hand. Here a handful of volunteers pose for a formal portrait.
The Kids in Need Resource Center is a model for the 15 other similar sites around the country. "In magnitude and scope it is the largest and most successful," said World Vision's Jim Peterson, warehouse manager.

He says much of the credit goes to the army of more than 50 Bluebill volunteers who run the warehouse, coordinate and host teacher visits and greet visitors with efficiency, energy and "never flagging devotion."
Warehouse facilities are furnished by The Boeing Company. In 2003 the operation moved to an enlarged 45,000 square foot warehouse in Kent Benaroya. The increased space, together with an increased level of awareness by the local businesses who donate the products, has made it possible for KIN to serve the growing needs of the region.

The program serves 134 schools in King and Pierce counties, plus12 in Snohomish/Skagit counties and 11 schools on the Olympic Peninsula. In addition, excess product available through World Vision's Gifts in Kind Program is provided to local churches and agencies and to qualifying schools in Olympia, the Yakima Valley and beyond, thereby addressing the needs of tens of thousands of additional students.

To qualify for the Kids in Need program, a significant percentage of the school's students must be eligible for free or reduced price lunches. The average among the 155 schools this year is more than 76 percent.

Teachers always find new items on the shelves to pique their creative natures. ABOVE is a plentiful supply of crayons, a welcome but unusual sight. Crayons have always been one of the products in high demand and in short supply. Not any more, thanks to donors like Walmart,Bartells, Sterling Savings Bank and Boeing employees who have added donations of cash to their contributions. Now, with cash, KIN supplements inventory by purchasing its own crayons, scissors, and other high demand items.

New matching carts now enhance the teachers' shopping experience. Prior to this donation of 60 carts from Fred Meyer's Spokane store, many teachers were forced to wheel office chairs through the aisles to carry the merchandise they were selecting. Above, Ted Leyden helps a teacher get started.
New Schools Get Special Welcome

Shopping for the 2004-2005 school year began September 7. To acquaint the 45 new schools to the program, their principals were the first representatives to visit the resource center. They were invited to a luncheon on August 24, where they were given a review of the process. Principals play a major role in the program's success. Many of them help teachers schedule their assigned after-school visits by providing early dismissal or classroom substitutes. Each school will shop three times this year.

Teachers and their students submit colorful posters to the KIN program and thank you letters to the businesses who donate product. The schools that win the monthly poster contest get special treatment at the warehouse. The posters go on the walls and add a decorative flair to the busy scene. RIGHT is one of the entries for October.

BELOW two teachers browse the full shelves, looking for supplies for their students.


How the Kids In Need Resource Center Works

Leydens Get Credit for Success of Mushrooming Program

Kids in Need Program is Best Partnership

Diana Saville is 2003 Teacher of the Year

Campbell Hill Elementary is Outstanding School for 2003/2004

KIN Thanks Sterling Savings

Bluebills Home Page | Mission | History | Chapters | Kids Resource Center | Solitaires | Accomplishments | Honors

date of this page version: 22 November 2004