The winter holidays are coming up!
Across the city, families and individuals from diverse backgrounds will be joining together to celebrate a variety of special days: Hannukah, Christmas, Solstice, and Kwanzaa among others. To honor our European heritage, my family also celebrates St. Nikolaustag (German Dec 6) with boots full of candy for the kids, St. Lucia Day (Swedish Dec 13) with cardamon rolls and hot chocolate for everyone, and Jolabokaflod (Icelandic Dec 24) with our yearly flood of books for the whole family. On Saturday, December 3, Bothell celebrated on Main Street with the tree lighting and winter market, which was a perfect opportunity to shop local and support local artists, makers, and entrepreneurs.
The holiday season is often a time when people consider ways to give back to the less fortunate in our community, especially with the hardship of cold weather and increased heating costs. On behalf of our residents, the City of Bothell grants funds to local human service agencies like the Northshore Senior Center, Hopelink, and the Oaks Enhanced Shelter, among others. You and your loved ones might be seeking others ways to help those who are struggling beyond your tax dollars or additional donations.
Many of the organizations that receive human services funding from the city also have volunteer opportunities where community members can contribute in meaningful ways to their efforts. One way to connect to volunteer efforts is to visit the website JustServe.org where you can search for opportunities to volunteer with human service agencies serving Bothell.
The Oaks Enhanced Shelter, where I was graciously welcomed on a tour, is one of the organizations that receives a grant from the City of Bothell. The Oaks serves Bothell’s unhoused community through a regional partnership. Bothell residents wanting to support their work can find volunteer and donation opportunities listed on their website.
The holidays and the winter season can be difficult for people who are struggling emotionally or financially. In the last year, Bothell has expanded access to local community resources to help residents who are struggling. The Center for Human Services is available as a first stop where community members can get support for themselves or their children. In November, I had the pleasure of attending the Center for Human Services Open House and was able to tour their new Bothell office and meet staff. They welcomed the community in to learn about the services they provide to Bothell residents for free, thanks to a City of Bothell grant using ARPA funds. A newly launched 988 number can also connect people across our region to immediate help, and we are increasing the number of RADAR Navigators serving Bothell and surrounding cities. Navigators provide in-person response to crisis calls and then offer referrals to organizations that can provide ongoing support.
If you are looking for a way to give back to the community this holiday season, I hope you will consider amplifying the work of our community human services partners who are doing excellent work on behalf of Bothell residents.