During this holiday season, I reflect on the things I am most thankful for. Primarily among them is our dedicated, involved community. Arlington, at its heart, is a community of engaged residents that take time out of their busy lives to make this community thrive. We are so blessed to have each and every one of you that give your time and financial support to the dozens of organizations in our community.
While the holidays can be a great time of joy for many of us, there are those in our community who are struggling. As we enter into this season of giving, I ask you to remember those in our community who could use a hand up. Arlington has many generous people who want to help others. One of the most effective ways is to help strengthen the resources of the agencies in Arlington who do this work every day, including around holidays. If you are inclined to give with your time or with financial support, I encourage you to donate directly to programs that provide services to those in need in our community: Arlington Community Resource Center, Arlington Kids Kloset, Arlington Community Food Bank, the Stillaguamish Senior Center, Village Community Services, and the Social Services Flex Fund.
The Arlington Community Resource Center (ACRC), a program of Lutheran Community Services Northwest, offers resources and referrals to those facing instability and crisis. ACRC stands ready to help low-income families and individuals meet life’s basic needs. From January through August 2019, ACRC has provided services, resources and referrals to 1,094 families. The have assisted in securing housing for 47 families, ensuring 60 adults and 60 children have secure, stable housing. ACRC has also provided mental health services to 241 participants. You can support the ACRC by visiting www.lcsnw.ejoinme.org.
Arlington Kids Kloset (AKK) is a volunteer operated nonprofit organization that provides new and quality used clothing, shoes, and hygiene products, free of charge, to children ages preschool through grade 12 in the Arlington, Darrington, and Lakewood School Districts. Since opening their doors in May 2005, AKK has served thousands of children in our community. Donations of new and gently used clothing are accepted all year round, along with laundry detergent, and financial support. www.arlingtonkidskloset.com
Arlington Community Food Bank’s mission is to help end hunger in our community. One in eight people face hunger in Western Washington; one in five of them are kids. With the generosity of businesses, organizations and individuals, the Arlington Community Food Bank is able to offer relief and help end hunger in our neighborhoods. Visit https://www.arlingtonfoodbank.org/ to learn how you can help.
The Stillaguamish Senior Center provides services to north Snohomish County seniors to enhance their quality of life, limit isolation, provide housing, and prevent a need for institutionalization. More information on the services the Stillaguamish Senior Center provides is available at www.stillycenter.org.
Village Community Services is a local organization committed to making a difference in the lives of adults with disabilities, through programs such as residential support and vocational services. For more information about the many programs VCS offers, visit www.villagecommunitysvcs.org.
The Social Services Flex Fund was established to allow the Arlington Police and Fire departments to provide for immediate basic needs to individuals who are ready to seek treatment for their addiction to opiates. Use of the fund is specifically designed to fill the gap of time, typically two to three days, between when the individual makes the decision to stop the addiction to when the individual can be connected to treatment. Donations to this fund are limited to specific uses set by the Arlington City Council. To donate, visit www.arlingtonwa.gov/499/Social-Services-Flex-Fund.
It has been an honor working with our residents and businesses to help keep Arlington the special and caring community it is today. I look forward to continuing our work together to find and implement solutions to some of our community's toughest challenges.
May the blessings of health, peace, and happiness be yours throughout the holiday season.