Generous Gift Enables Eastside Firefighters to Give Back to Community They Serve
On December 6, the 100 Women Who Care Snoqualmie Valley Chapter donated $14,000 to the Eastside Firefighters Benevolent Fund – one of the largest donations ever received. The benevolent fund, created by local firefighters about six years ago to serve people in their community funds, among other things, relief for people experiencing poverty and homelessness, firewood for people in need over the winter months, support for firefighters and their families in the event of an emergency or disaster, and a nutrition program for local elementary school students. “Really our motto is giving back to the communities we serve,” says Battalion Chief Dave McDaniel, who serves as the fund’s president.
The 100 Women Who Care Snoqualmie Chapter is about a year old, and it is one of several hundred chapters around the country. The concept is simple. The impact is great. The members meet quarterly, any member can present a need in the community, the need has to be immediate and the money must remain local. The group votes on the presentation, and members write $100 checks to the chosen charity.
Dawn Harper, one of the founding members of the Snoqualmie Chapter and the wife of an Eastside firefighter, nominated the benevolent fund after seeing the good it did at Issaquah Valley Elementary School. A firefighter volunteering to read at the school noticed that some of the kids had trouble concentrating, and a teacher told him that students who are hungry have a hard time focusing on school work. Three out of 10 kids in the school were on free or reduced lunch. For some students, some days, school lunch was their only reliable meal. The Eastside Firefighters funded and launched a free breakfast program, and teachers reported that behavior problems decreased, kids were calmer and ready to learn. They started to see the difference a small meal can make in a child’s life. The generous gift from 100 Women Who Care will help to insure that work continues.