Guests at Hopelink’s Reaching Out Benefit Luncheon raised nearly $1.1 million earlier this week to help ensure that tens of thousands of local at-risk families and individuals navigate the journey from vulnerability and crisis to independence and stability. The 17th annual event took place Monday (Oct. 15) at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center.
More than 1,700 attendees heard best-selling author Jeannette Walls share her true story of growing up in poverty, the impact it had on her life, and how organizations such as Hopelink provide a critical safety net for parents, their children, and many others in the community facing hunger and homelessness.
Walls wrote the memoir The Glass Castle, which describes her childhood with three siblings and the brilliant, unorthodox, irresponsible parents who managed at once to neglect them, love them, and teach them to face their fears. During the luncheon, Walls said that although she grew up facing a lot of challenges that were foreign to her peers, she felt fortunate that her mom and dad were always loving and supportive.
"I'm lucky,” she said. “We might not have had food or heat but our parents would never make fun of our dreams."
Luncheon attendees also heard from Connie Chapin, former Hopelink client and board member, whose Hopelink journey began when she became a single mother of four young children about a decade ago. Chapin went on to found Angelfish Swimming in Kirkland, where she teaches about 250 children every month how to swim.
Redmond-based Hopelink is celebrating its 40th year of helping homeless and low-income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities get back on their feet.
Photos provided by Phototainment.