Roughly one in four kids are at risk of going hungry in Bellingham, and children are among them. In Bellingham, Food 4 Tots, a program attached to the Bellingham Food Bank, is there to help parents struggling to feed their infants.
By the end of this month, junior Allison Seitz, a community health major at Western, aims to gather $1,200 dollars by the end of the month. In exchange for $50, Seitz was able to rent out Trampoline Zone for two hours and keep the money raised for her project.
The fundraiser on Thursday, Feb. 25 only managed to gather $180. However, Trampoline Zone General Manager Justin Ledesma waived the fee and invited Seitz to come back on Thursday, March 3.
Roughly 95 percent of the 360,000 jars and 18,000 formulas distributed to parents each year come from “sponsors” such as Seitz. Local farmers also donate food.
“I was really impressed with someone who’s so young being able to even coordinate an event,” Ledesma said.
Before Seitz approached Trampoline Zone, the business had worked with Skookum Kids, a program that works to help children in the foster program. Ledesma said he sees Whatcom County as a community of helping.
“Everyone seems to care for each other and wants to help out,” Ledesma said.
Zach Paukert was among those who showed up Thursday night to bounce in support of Food 4 Tots.
“It’s a win-win,” he said. “We work out, challenge ourselves and also help a good cause.”
So far Seitz has organized a bake sale, a night at Rudy’s and a night at AB Crepes Next, she tried reaching out to places ranging from bowling alleys and ice rink. Neither option was viable.
Only after a friend told her of Trampoline Zone did Seitz reach out to the business.
The time slot Seitz reserved at Trampoline Zone was usually used for “college night,” where students could bounce at a discounted rate. Lately, however, college night had been slow, so Seitz’s event allowed for free advertising for their company.
“This was definitely a symbiotic relationship,” Seitz said.
After she graduates, Seitz hopes to turn her career toward geriatric mental health, specifically focusing on “unnecessary” prescriptions. She said the issue presented itself when she saw how many medications her grandmother was taking, some of which seemed excessive.
Seitz said she wants to pioneer the issue and shed more light on it.