Tracey T: Providing a Safety Net for Families

The Right Now Needs Fund lives up to its name, fulfilling the needs of students and families in an easy and efficient process.

School social workers like Tracey Thompson know that when the basic needs of students are met, they are more likely to succeed within and beyond the classroom. That’s why for over a decade at West Seattle Elementary, she’s been connecting with families and taking care of the community.

“My role as a social worker is multifaceted advocating for families and connecting them to community resources,” she proudly remarked. “I appreciate the Right Now Needs Fund because when a family comes to us with a need, they do not have to jump through a lot of red tape and invasive assessments. They bring us their need, I do a soft assessment, submit the request and there’s a quick turnaround.”

Founded in 2018, the Right Now Needs Fund is an Alliance for Education program that works at the individual school level to support the immediate basic needs of Seattle students and families. The Fund covers the cost of clothing, meals, and shelter for students at all Seattle Public Schools, addressing student needs that are not otherwise funded in a school budget.

“I have seen a tremendous increase in needs lately – middle class families making requests that I have never supported before,” said a worried Tracey. “Federal supports families received during COVID have now been removed – though families continue to experience gaps in available resources.”

Zeynab Abulgadir, director of the Right Now Needs Fund, echoed her sentiment.

“With federal and state COVID relief funds now diminished, the Fund has seen an increased need for support for students and families, now more than ever, as we go into our fifth year,” said Zeynab.

The Fund is designed to be efficient, flexible and impactful. Created in partnership with Amazon, the Right Now Needs Fund distributes more than $1M annually to address the basic needs of Seattle students and families. 

According to Tracey, “This fund makes all the difference.”

Learn more about the Right Now Needs Fund program and make a gift to support Seattle students and families.