Echo Glen Children’s Center is a Washington State Juvenile Detention facility and a school operated by the Issaquah School District. There are approximately 140 kids as young as 11 and up to 20 years old; all have great untapped potential. National studies show that 80 to 85% of young people in the juvenile justice system have at one time been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. This seems to be a continuous cycle - one that Echo Glen staff is determined to break. These kids crave positive attention from adults and need good role models. Nearly all have dangerously low self-esteem.
International Smile Power volunteers began partnering with Echo Glen kids and staff in 1999. Our first outreach created a bridge of friendship between the youth at EG and orphans in Bolivia. We saw how life-transforming helping others can be for these youth and the below events and volunteer opportunities were initiated from there.
Background checks are required and you must over 21 to interact with the youth, but prep work can be done by any age or group.
Here are opportunities to show these appreciative kids that you care (ascending order of time commitment):
- Birthday Cakes – provide a cake once a month or once a year for a child who would not otherwise receive one. (no age minimum)
- Annual Golf Clinic – If you have a slight ability to swing a golf club, please join us. Inspire a child – help them find a new talent or hobby. First week of August
- Careers and Continuing Ed Fair - April and October - Share about your career choice and help inspire the youth to imagine and then to define what their ideal crime-free future looks like.
- Monthly Birthday Baking for others - Help the kids bake cupcakes and create cards that are given to Tent City 4 residents or women and children at Hope Place/UGM for their monthly birthday celebration
- Art Docent – 2 volunteers go into a class of 10 students once a month from 12:21 PM to 1:32 PM (day of month decided by EG teacher and volunteers). NO artistic talent required – lesson plans and supplies are provided. Be a lead docent or assist.
- International Smile Power Outreach - help the Echo Glen youth paint T-shirts and write friendship messages that will be delivered to children in another country by ISP volunteers
- Community Service Socials - Come chat with 3 or 4 youth while helping them with a project that helps others. Adopt-a-Cottage - for small groups that would like to socialize with a 'cottage' of kids every other month.
To join us, donate arts & crafts supplies, have your group fund raise to support the EG events, or if you have an idea for a future service project social – email email@example.com
- Share art after school (2:30PM) in a 'cottage'.
- Teach photography to 4 youth - EG has 4 new Canon sx-120's
- Help with the Canine Connections program that pairs rescued dogs with troubled kids. Need groomers too. More info about the Youth Pet Therapy/DogRescue Program
Summer Doggie Day Care/Boarding
- Tutor kids in various school subjects
- Help in the Recreation Department –
help coach a sport or some other activity If you have a passion – there
are children who would love to have you share it with them.