St. Jude parish and Eastside communities help those in need

On March 25, more than 200 parishioners of St. Jude parish in Redmond gathered in the parish hall to start their day working on various projects to help people living in Eastside communities who are experiencing poverty, loss of employment and abuse. The day began with a huge continental breakfast giving energy to volunteer parents and their children.

The hall was bubbling with enthusiasm as parents and happy smiling children received their assigned projects for the seventh annual St. Jude Service Day. All volunteers quickly started working. By 2 p.m., the following projects were accomplished:

• 1,000 pantry packs (kid friendly) for Hopelink to distribute to students lacking sufficient nutrition on weekends. Each pack included motivational cards, artfully made by assisted living communities from Bothell to Bellevue.

• 200 “Blessing Bags” consisting of hygiene products, energy bars, peanut butter/crackers, sample size shampoo, hand lotion, hand sanitizer, soap samples, applesauce and water, for people living on the streets.

• 110 sack lunches consisting of a sandwich, an apple, brownies and rice crispy bars made by the volunteers, and water to go to Operation Nightwatch in Seattle.

• 100 pansy flower pots all beautifully decorated by the young children of the parish. Flower pots were given to assisted living communities for the elderly residents experiencing dementia.

• 250 hygiene kits were donated and assembled by seven assisted living communities on

the Eastside. Each kit included a motivational card made by the elderly of these communities. These kits will go to homeless students of the Lake Washington School District; to New Bethlehem Project, a day center in Kirkland; and to Life Wire, a nonprofit working to end domestic violence.

• 200 shopping bags of canned and dried food products for Holy Innocents’ Food Bank in Duvall.

More than 30 parish volunteers performed service projects at Friendly Village — a 55-and-older mobile home community in Redmond — yard and house work. Approximately 15-20 volunteers cleaned two homes for Life Wire, a Bellevue nonprofit providing shelters for domestic violence victims. Fifty-plus volunteers worked diligently at doing yard work, cleaning church pews/folding chairs and pressure washing at St. Jude parish.

At 2 p.m., the event came to a close with volunteers “all going home happy and content knowing they had given their very best toward helping their neighbors in need,” reads a press release. “It took many hands and generous hearts to accomplish this work. Donations were received from many communities on the Eastside.”

Event organizers thank:

• Residents of Fairwinds-Brittany Park of Woodinville, Brookdale, Merrill Gardens and Madison House of Kirkland, Emerald Heights and Fairwinds of Redmond and the Sunrise communities of Bellevue, Bothell and Northgate.

• Costco of Redmond, Target of Factoria, Issaquah, Redmond and Woodinville, Fred Meyer stores of Redmond and Kirkland, Home Depot of Issaquah and Redmond, McLendon’s Hardware of Woodinville, QFC Stores in Redmond and Kirkland, Safeway Stores in Woodinville, Kirkland and Redmond and Red Apple in Kirkland, Staples in Redmond and Wallgreens-Kirkland.

• GIA Management (McDonalds), Jack in the Box and Garlic Jim’s Pizza of Redmond. Hundreds of tooth brushes, toothpaste and floss were donated by Dr. David Richardson, Redmond Way Dentistry, Paramont Dental Center, Radiant Smiles Family Dental, Redmond Gentle Dental and Redmond Ridge Family Dentistry.

• The parishioners of St. Jude for their monetary, canned and dried food donations. The 200 volunteers who gave up their Saturday to accomplish the mission of the service day.