By Shao Zhi Hurst
For Northwest Asian Weekly
I arrived, straight from China, in the Northwest on a sunny mid-September morning six years ago.
My fiancée lived in Bellevue and worked in Seattle, so while I stayed at home practicing my English, I looked around for someone to talk with. The only neighbor who appeared not to have a full-time job, Lia, was 80 years old. I soon discovered that she led a full life.
She was a volunteer with the Overlake Service League (now known as the Bellevue LifeSpring), an organization formed to lend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in the community that are in need.
I was raised to look after my own family and not get involved in other peoples’ problems. It took a major attitude adjustment to believe that the little I could offer could mean so much to so many. I started attending meetings with Lia and soliciting donations.
I now have two children and, through them, have become involved in some Asian family groups. I recently realized that I am the only one in this group who knows about the Bellevue LifeSpring, so I have made a commitment to introduce them to our Asian community.
For the past 100 years, Bellevue LifeSpring has promoted stability during crisis for adults and children living in Bellevue by providing financial assistance and/or access to financial resources. Their services are designed to meet the real and immediate needs of community members for food, shelter, clothing, and education, as well as other basic needs.
One of their fundraising centers is on the main level of Bellevue Square, the Bellevue LifeSpring Thrift Shop. It is a unique find in a major shopping mall. Shoppers find quality selections of new and gently used clothing and accessories for the entire family, including designer labels, fine housewares, jewelry, collectables, and books. The shop is described as a ‘boutique’ because of the superiority of the items.
If you live on the Eastside and are interested in finding out more about Bellevue LifeSpring, either to donate items to the store or to volunteer your time, please check out their website at www.bellevuelifespring.org or visit the store in person.
If you are someone who may be in need of LifeSpring’s services, the website will give you details on all the programs offered. ♦
For more information, visit www.bellevuelifespring.org.
Shao Zhi Hurst can be reached through email@example.com.