As part of the King County van donation program, Councilmember Claudia Balducci donated retired vans to three nonprofit organizations on the Eastside. The retired, but still usable vans, will help each organization in their respective missions to improve the lives of Eastside youth and families.
Friends of Youth, Tennis Outreach Programs of Puget Sound (TOPs), and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue received the vans.
“These vans will help each organization in its mission to ready young people for successful lives,” said Councilmember Balducci in a release. “All three organizations gives Eastside youth and their families more tools and services to succeed, and I’m so happy King County can assist with these vans.”
TOPs is a nonprofit organization that empowers youth for lifetime success through tennis, education, fitness and character development regardless of economic circumstance.
According to executive director Travis Roach, TOPs is excited to use the van to transport youth on the Eastside to more opportunities. The van will also help transport youth that previously didn’t have transportation to their year-round tennis and off-court enrichment programs at Eastside Tennis Center in Kirkland.
Friends of Youth serves over 6,500 youth, young adults and families. They also include support for youth in foster care, shelters and programs for homeless youth and behavioral health care in Eastside school districts.
CEO and president of Friends of Youth Terry Pottmeyer said the organization is thrilled to receive a van.
“We’ll be using the vehicle to transport young adults in our transitional housing program in Kirkland to medical appointments, grocery shopping, recreational activities, service learning commitments and so much more,” Pottmeyer said in a release. “These activities help our young people achieve stability and strengthen their self-sufficiency skills. We are so grateful to Councilmember Balducci for her advocacy and support.”
The last van was donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue. The organization serves Eastside youth at seven club locations, five school sites and three teen centers. Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue will use the van to transport youth from school to its clubhouses and field trips.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue president/CEO Kathy Haggart said transportation remains one of their biggest challenges when it comes to providing kids access to their clubs.
“We are thrilled to be the recipient of this van… This van will get a lot of use and help us provide even more kids who need our life-saving programs,” Haggart said in a release.