February 2024

Celebrating our 2023 Award Winners!

Resident of the Year: Shanda Blunt

The Resident of the Year Award is given to a Northeast Spokane resident who volunteers time and talent in an exceptional way to connect community and help neighbors thrive.

Shanda is a Chief Garry resident, served as a founding Advisory Board member, and is a current Resident Steering Committee member. Shanda brings personal and professional expertise to our programming—co-designing and co-leading peer groups, resident leadership workshops, parenting courses, and leading free Zumba classes at NECC three times a week. Through AmeriGroup, Shanda tables at community events, sponsors community meals throughout the year, and is on call to meet northeast families to help them get healthcare and other supports. Shanda received a scholarship from Gonzaga University (GU) and The ZONE to take a Design Thinking for Innovation course at GU. We look forward to her bringing her signature energy and joy with what she’s learned back to benefit our neighborhoods. Shanda’s favorite quote: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”—Maya Angelou

Agency of the Year: NorthEast Support Team (Nest Coalition)

The Agency of the Year Award is given to a campus partner who goes above and beyond to support the entire Northeast Community Center, living into our mission of improving the quality of life for residents of Northeast Spokane.

Lorraine Holokai, NEST Coalition Coordinator, knows that by creating spaces for families to spend quality time together, children and youth have a higher chance of making positive choices, remaining drug-free, and having better outcomes in life. With this in mind, she has worked with Coalition members to create monthly family nights held at NECC, where parents and children come together to have dinner, watch movies, do crafts, and play games. She also ensured that every Farmer’s Market resource fair had a Kids’ ZONE, with fun activities, like pumpkin painting, sidewalk chalk, and raffle items. Additionally, NEST holds the Medication Take-Back events twice per year, getting hundreds of pounds of unused medications out of homes and away from children.

Partner of the Year: URM Warehouse

The Partner of the Year Award is given to a collective impact partner whose organization innovates roles, funding, and strategy to meet community needs in Northeast Spokane.

“It’s my dream that one day a new hire says, ‘I remember when URM bought me shoes’ or ‘I remember URM sponsored my family for Christmas,’” says Josh Leech, Director of Warehouse Operations. To this end, he has ensured that students in Northeast schools have winter boots, athletic shoes, and socks by sponsoring our Boot & Shoe Drive the past 2 years. He also brought a literal semi-truck full of toys, wrapping paper, and more before the holidays. We were able to distribute them to local schools, and set up a toy room at our December Family Night for parents to “shop” and wrap gifts for their children. With the hundreds of families that URM has supported in Northeast Spokane, it won’t be long before Josh hears those words from a new hire. 

Even More Resident & Partner Impact

Party Highlights

Our party on February 7th was a lot of fun, and we loved celebrating our award winners and accomplishments with all of you who made the past year so successful! We can't wait to do it again next year.

If you weren't able to make it, please check out our 2023 Annual Report, now available digitally on our website. And we'd love to give you a hard copy when you next visit us.

We do this work along-side you and it is a privilege to work together, and highlight you, in our Annual Report.

View Annual Report
Facebook  Instagram  LinkedIn  Email