South King Firefighters Foundation came together this month with Valley Professional Firefighters (firefighters from Valley Regional Fire Authority), Kent Firefighters Foundation (firefighters from Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority), Des Moines Police Officers Guild, and Federal Way Police Officers Guild to raise funds for diapers and wipes for community members in need.
The Children’s Home Society of Washington initially reached out to the South King Firefighters Foundation to ask for help with a diaper drive for their resource center in Kent. The South King Firefighters Foundation already does a diaper drive every year, but said they would be interested in donating money to buy diapers. Over $3,000 total was donated, the majority by the individual police officers and firefighters of South King County.
Representatives from the various first responder organizations came together on Oct. 13 to celebrate the donation and hand off the diapers and wipes to the Children’s Home Society of Washington. South King Fire’s Station 62 invited everyone inside the station to connect and enjoy some firehouse chili and corn cake before taking photos and loading up the truck for delivery to families.
“We had just run out of all these sizes,” said Alicia Tomlan, administrative manager for the Children’s Home Society of Washington, King County. “We told our families to just hold on for one more day.”
The South King County Family Resource Center has already given out over 45,000 diapers this year to date, according to Tomlan. They serve about 60 families a week with their variety of programs and are located at 212 Fifth Ave. S., Kent, WA, 98032.
Their newly opened community pantry provides a way for community members who need some extra access food boxes, children’s clothing and more. The center is looking for donations of children’s coats and warm shoes, especially in larger sizes.
“You’re the lifeblood of what we do. Your heart beats along with our own,” Tomlan said as she presented certificates to the first responders. She recognized their daily service as well, saying: “Thank you for coming to the rescue yet again, in a unique way.”
Children’s Home Society of Washington has existed for 127 years and has five main regions within the state. To support families, they focus on a three-pronged approach of direct family support, behavioral health and early learning. This model focuses on prevention and aims to set families up for success.
“This hit really close to home,” Lieutenant Ann Hoag of the South King Firefighters Foundation told The Mirror. She said her own experience as a new mom added to her desire to help: “We leaned on our relationships with other local public safety and within two hours we had five times the donations.”