Reach Out held its seventh annual Pay It Forward fundraising breakfast Sept. 19 at Christian Faith Center in Federal Way. Pictured from left: King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer, guest speaker Becky Vinson, and Pay It Forward Lifetime Achievement Award winner Doug Johnson. Photo by Andy Hobbs, the Mirror

Reach Out hosts annual Pay It Forward breakfast

Reach Out held its seventh annual Pay It Forward breakfast Tuesday morning to benefit homeless individuals and families in South King County.

The nonprofit organization was already halfway toward its fundraising goal of $65,000 when the silent auction and breakfast began at the Christian Faith Center in Federal Way. The event was emceed by State Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn).

Federal Way volunteer Doug Johnson received the Pay It Forward Lifetime Achievement Award for his longtime dedication to service over the years with the Federal Way Community Caregiving Network and the Multi-Service Center.

The event’s guest speaker, Becky Vinson, shared her personal story of overcoming homelessness to find a successful career in the U.S. Navy and later as a nurse. Vinson’s faith in humanity led her to legally adopt a teenage boy who had been abandoned by his parents and was set to return to a group home. That teenage boy, Jimmy Graham, eventually grew up to play tight end for the Seattle Seahawks.

Reach Out is at the forefront of connecting the homeless to meals, shelter and services. Founded in 2009, the organization has grown to provide shelter to homeless men and women for six months a year. Reach Out has also fostered a support network of churches and social service agencies in the area.

Last season, Reach Out served 76 total men and 44 total women from Oct. 2016 to March 2017. Many of these clients were able to find housing and employment through Reach Out’s programs.

To learn more, visit reachoutfederalway.org or call 253-854-0077.

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