Amazon Gives $2.2M to Fill Basic Needs for Underserved Students in Bellevue, Seattle – 425magazine.com

Amazon on Tuesday announced a new $2.2 million donation to support basic needs like food, shelter, clothing, and school supplies for thousands of students from underserved communities in the Seattle and Bellevue school districts.

The donation through the Right Now Needs Fund, created by Amazon in 2018 in partnership with the nonprofits Alliance for Education and Bellevue LifeSpring, helps ensure students arrive at school prepared to learn by first addressing foundational life needs. The donation will support all 106 schools within the Seattle Public Schools district and all 29 schools in the Bellevue School District, Amazon said in a news release. It has donated more than $8 million to the fund since 2018.

“Many local families in underserved communities are feeling the impact of surging food and housing prices, and they’re making tough sacrifices to meet their immediate needs,” David Zapolsky, Amazon general counsel and senior vice president, and Alliance for Education board member, said in a statement. “We are determined to help by funding meals, shelter, clothing, school supplies, and other basic needs so kids can be successful students,”

Amazon’s donation includes $1.4 million to the Alliance for Education to help identify and close opportunity gaps for local students and families at Seattle Public Schools. Donations have supported more than 38,000 requests for student support, including helping to cover rent, utilities, food, clothing, and other basic needs since the fund was created with the Alliance for Education in 2018, the release said.

Amazon also donated $700,000 in cash and $150,000 in Amazon gift cards to Bellevue LifeSpring to support Bellevue public schools. Bellevue LifeSpring supports nearly 4,000 underserved students enrolled in the district and their families. There have been more than 15,000 instances of student support, including issuing more than 5,400 food vouchers for students, ensuring 178 students remained in their homes, and providing clothing for 666 students since the fund was created with Bellevue LifeSpring in 2020, Amazon said.

School-based staff within the districts work with students and families to identify needs and submit requests for financial assistance through their respective nonprofit partner. In addition, any school community member can request assistance if they notice a specific student need. Every school in each district has used the Right Now Need Fund to help students, the release said.

Donations since 2018 have supported more than 55,000 requests for support — from clothing to hygiene products to school supplies — for students and their families in both districts. Amazon also has donated 9,000 laptops and devices to Seattle Public Schools for remote learning and delivered more than 1 million school meals to Seattle students during the pandemic to help ensure they had food while learning remotely. Amazon also donated $1 million to the City of Bellevue’s Health and Human Services Fund to support local families in need who were disproportionately affected by COVID-19, according to the release.

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