Puyallup church donates to local low-income families

Thursday, May 24

TACOMA, Wash. -Current economic conditions have been tough on families-especially those most vulnerable in our community. This year, members of the First Presbyterian Church of Puyallup have taken steps to help some of Puyallup's low-income families.

Seventy-two families in Puyallup's Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), which has been housed at the church for 27 years, have received more than 1,000 bags of healthy snacks every other week from parishioners since the beginning of this year.

"The church family considers ECEAP to be their community outreach project, and they take such good care of us," said Catherine Aitkins, the site's family support specialist. "The 'Brown Bag Mission' ensures our preschoolers have nutritious snacks to eat on the days they are not in school." Additionally, the church sponsors several families and provides them with gifts and meals during the holiday season.

But the generosity of the church doesn't end there. At the end-of-the-year event next week, each student will receive a hand-made quilt to take home.

"The church wanted each child to have their own special blankets to keep them warm, since many of our children do not have blankets. Several have even used garbage bags instead of coats," said Aitkins. "These quilts are individually made with love and care. No two are the same," she said.

Aitkins said the church has been instrumental in the program's success. "The church takes care of us every day, but the quilts are so special and far above anything we have ever experienced, we are thankful to the church and its members," she said.

ECEAP is a state-funded preschool for low-income families that fall below 110 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Bates Technical College operates four ECEAP sites in Pierce County, including this Puyallup ECEAP location.

For more information about the college's ECEAP program, go to www.bates.ctc.edu/Family, or call 253.680.7500.

About Bates Technical College

Celebrating more than 70 years of providing educational opportunities, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree options in more than 50 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to www.bates.ctc.edu, or call 253.680.7000.


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