Community comes together to support families in a time of need

By Harmony Weinberg | Edmonds School District

LYNNWOOD, Wash., Aug. 13, 2020 – Not even the global COVID-19 pandemic can stop community members from coming together to help Edmonds School District families in need. 

Earlier this week, more than one hundred community volunteers and district employees worked to safely distribute backpacks with school supplies and face masks to more than 1,000 students as part of the 2020 Back-to-School Fair. 

The drive-up event took place over two days at eight different school locations as well as Community Life Center and Meadowdale Community Church. The event also included onsite medical appointments for some students.

The event has always taken place at one school in the district, on one given day, with several organizations attending to provide services and information for families. However, COVID-19 forced the Back-to-School Fair Consortium, which plans the event and includes the school district and several community partners, to make critical changes. The focus stayed clear: keep everyone safe and find an effective way to ensure families receive needed educational supplies. Thus, the drive-up event was created and with great success.

Families who qualified for free and reduced meals were also reminded to fill out their paperwork to ensure students would receive meals during the year. The paperwork is available through this application link. More details are also available on the district’s website.

Families who registered for the event but were unable to attend are encouraged to work with their school office to coordinate a time for picking up supplies safely.

The Back-to-School Fair is a long tradition made possible by a consortium committed to supporting students. The Edmonds School District wants to thank the Center for Human Services, Windermere and the Windermere Foundation, Washington Kids in Transition, Hazel Miller Foundation, Verdant Health Commission, and the Foundation for Edmonds School District, for the generous support to make this year’s event happen.

More details on the generosity from our sponsors and community partners:

  • Windermere and Windermere Foundation provided $10,000 in funding. They also provided volunteers who devoted an entire day to assemble more than 3,000 supply packs.
  • Hazel Miller Foundation increased their support to this year’s event from $5,000 to $10,000.
  • Verdant Health Commission is working with the Foundation for Edmonds School District to provide funds for PPE and thermometers for families in need.
  • The cities of Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace donated 7,000 masks.
  • Community members made and donated over 1,000 cloth masks. 
  • Center Health Clinic provided medical and sports physical support.
  • Foundation for Edmonds School District contributed $3,000 and provided countless hours of volunteer support.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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