Good Morning. On behalf of First Place, I would like to welcome all of you to our ANNUAL FUNDRAISING BREAKFAST, Where Hope Begins. I am Linda Byron, Investigative Reporter for KING 5 News and a volunteer with First Place.
Since its inception now 24 years ago, First Place has grown to meet the needs of children and families all struggling with the risk and reality of homelessness. We provide quality education for students, transitional housing, and support families with counseling and resources to obtain permanent stability.
Each night in King County, more than 9,000 people are homeless, more than half of them are families with children. To the families of First Place, your support means hope, home and education. Your support makes First Place Where Hope Begins.
The theme of this year’s event is “Where Hope Begins.” This theme is so fitting because it is not just First Place that is “Where Hope Begins,” for families in need, but you joining us on-line today to support this great cause is truly where hope begins for these families.
I have been a volunteer at First Place since the beginning and have had the privilege of spending time with many students. What I have learned from these students is that First Place provides them with hope for a brighter future – a strong foundation for academic success, the stability of knowing where they will be living and support for the whole family to overcome the obstacles they have faced.
I discovered First Place in 1990 when I was researching the mushrooming problem of homelessness in Seattle and Western Washington. First Place was founded by several teachers who were dismayed that homeless children couldn’t attend public schools because they needed a permanent address just to enroll. Over the years I’ve watched the school expand and grow, but one thing’s stayed the same. First Place gives homeless children an anchor in a sea of uncertainty and provides a lifeline of support to the entire family. I’ve watched children who came to First Place broken, frightened and withdrawn grow and thrive. I’ve seen their dignity restored and I’ve seen the smiles on their faces as they embrace the education and love surrounding them.
Take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of these children and imagine what an impact First Place makes on their lives. First Place is unique in its approach to working with families struggling with poverty and homelessness while providing nurturing education for their children.
I would like to thank our sponsors, Moneytree, Seattle Children’s, First Choice, Muckleshoot Tribe, Laird Norton and KING 5 Television for supporting First Place through their generous contributions.
Thank you for joining us for the Virtual Where Hope Begins Breakfast.
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