ARLINGTON — Two Arlington High School National Honor Society students were recently recognized for their efforts on behalf of Housing Hope.
Before school let out for the summer, Grayson Baden and Emily Spores spent six weeks coordinating multiple food drives at local grocery stores for the Everett based non-profit, which serves homeless and low-income families throughout Snohomish County.
Their efforts yielded $186 in cash, as well as toilet paper, paper towels, canned foods, diapers, wipes and other basic need items for families living in Housing Hope’s Arlington units.
“I really wanted to do this project because it would help and impact a lot of families’ lives in our community,” Spores said.
“It was a really fulfilling project,” Baden said.
Baden and Spores agreed that organizing the campaign was challenging, with Spores feeling most taxed by the amount of paperwork involved, while Baden was hard-pressed to find places to store all the donations they received
“We had to get a lot signatures from various people, as well as posters and signs that needed to be approved, and we had to write letters of intent,” said Spores, who nonetheless found it gratifying to see the donations stream in, and know how many area families would benefit from them. “My favorite part was our drive at the Arlington Haggen’s store. We saw a lot of generosity that day, not only from the customers, but also from Haggen’s, in supporting us and Arlington’s residents.”
“It was a huge confidence boost to see how many supplies were going to families in need,” said Baden, who also enjoyed the six-hour collection drive at the Arlington Haggen’s store, which she and Spores split into three-hour shifts between them. “It was so inspiring. Haggen’s was really helpful in allowing us to do the drive, and seeing people give so much felt really rewarding. Dropping off everything we’d collected at the Housing Hope storage area was exciting too, because we got to see everything we’d accumulated at once.”
Baden also credited the Smokey Point Safeway with donating $20 worth of goods, “which went really far,” and joined Spores in asserting the importance of Housing Hope’s contributions to the community.
“Many of us take for granted having basic supplies like paper towels, diapers and shampoo, but some families really struggle to get these items. Housing Hope helps them stay afloat,” said Baden, who estimated that Housing Hope aids hundreds of such families. “Everybody who donated made a difference, whether through cash or supplies.”
“We live in a very supportive and caring community,” Spores said.