Four from Bellevue Honored by Eastside Human Service Groups

St. Peter's United Methodist Church, Symetra, Aries Almanza-Almonte, Youth Eastside Services volunteer and Aimee Sharp of AtWork! are among those that will be honored by the Alliance of Eastside Agencies at its luncheon next week.

Three from Bellevue are among those that will be honored by a group of human service providers at the Alliance of Eastside Agencies eighth annual awards luncheon.

, , Aries Almanza-Almonte, a volunteer, and Aimee Sharp, Advocacy Specialist, will be among those honored at Bear Creek Country Club in Redmond during the Alliance of Eastside Agencies awards luncheon on June 13. The keynote speaker will be James Whitfield, executive director of Leadership Eastside.

"The AEA is pleased to honor members of the community who have played a significant role in supporting human services in East King County. This year we were please to add a category for faith organizations, who are certainly an important safety-net component," said AEA Chair David Downing, who is also Associate Director at Youth Eastside Services, in a prepared statement. "These individuals and organizations help make the Eastside a better place to live and work."

More than 40 human services agencies are part of the Alliance of Eastside Agencies, according to a press release.

Award recipients in six categories were chosen from several nominated by Eastside human service providers. Each has made outstanding contributions to health and human services in East King County. 

The award recipients are: 

Elected official of the Year—Matt Larson, Mayor of the City of Snoqualmie

Mayor Larson exemplifies leadership and support at the top level of city government for human services. On multiple occasions he and the City of Snoqualmie have donated space to area nonprofits and encouraged involvement, support and consistent funding for human service providers.

Youth Volunteer of the Year—Aries Almanza-Almonte, Youth Eastside Services

Aries has given more than 600 hours of community service since she first started volunteering in middle schools. She has served as president of a leadership, community service and culture group called Latino HEAT, operated by YES and, for the past three years, she has been selected as the director for the Walk for Aidan fundraiser, one of the largest student -run fundraisers. These are only two of the many service activities she participates in on a weekly basis.

Volunteer of the Year— Girls Giving Back

Girls Giving Back was nominated by Hopelink for their work rehabilitating a transitional living shelters and stocking these homes with everything from linens to food. In the last year they renovated many apartments in the Kenmore Hopelink facility; replacing carpets, painting, upgrading light fixtures and bathroom mirrors and building closets – sometimes in as little as a day!

Non-profit Staff of the Year— Aimee Sharp, Advocacy Specialist, AtWork!

Aimee Sharp is being recognized for her help finding jobs for people with disabilities and her passionate for public policy. She organized a dynamic grassroots advocacy that resulted in the passing of a law ensuring people with disabilities have access to jobs. She is admired across the human services industry for her work on behalf of those with disabilities.

Faith Organization of the Year—St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Bellevue

St. Peter’s was nominated for their dedication to help those in need. In particular, they were recognized for their dedication to serving the homeless on the Eastside—including a winter shelter for 50 homeless adults, a weekend shelter for women, and a twice weekly shelter for young adults.

Business of the Year—Symetra

Symetra is being honored for the excellent job they do fostering a climate of giving within their organization and engaging employees to give back. The company itself has sponsored numerous nonprofit fundraisers on the Eastside. They also match employee’s gifts and encourage employees to volunteer at area nonprofits, and at events the company sponsors. Finally, Symetra has created exposure for nonprofits through an innovative Facebook page and by hosting an annual giving fair.

-- Information from the Alliance of Eastside Agencies


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