Amazon gives another $2.2 million to help meet the basic needs of students in underserved communities in the Puget Sound region, bringing the total so far to $8 million.
May 3, 2022Amazon has made a $2.2 million donation to support the immediate needs of thousands of students from underserved communities in the Puget Sound region through the Right Now Needs Fund. The Fund—created by Amazon in 2018 in partnership with the nonprofits Alliance for Education and Bellevue LifeSpring—helps address students’ basic and immediate needs like food, shelter, clothing, and school supplies so students arrive at school prepared to learn. The donation will support all 106 schools within the Seattle Public Schools district and all 29 schools in the Bellevue School District.
“Many local families in underserved communities are feeling the impact of surging food and housing prices, and they’re making tough sacrifices to meet their immediate needs. We are determined to help by funding meals, shelter, clothing, school supplies, and other basic needs so kids can be successful students,” said David Zapolsky, Amazon general counsel and senior vice president, and Alliance for Education board member. “The Right Now Needs Fund helps our nonprofit partners and schools quickly identify and eliminate barriers to learning for students across the Puget Sound region, and we’re committed to continue supporting their work as one piece of our broader efforts to help our neighbors throughout the region.”
Amazon’s donation includes $1.4 million to the Alliance for Education to help identify and close opportunity gaps for local students and families at all of the 106 schools within the Seattle Public Schools district. Since the Fund was created with the Alliance for Education in 2018, donations have supported more than 38,000 requests for student support, including helping to cover costs for rent and utilities, food, clothing, and other basic needs.
“Amazon has been a tremendous partner to our Seattle Public Schools school community,” said Dr. Brent Jones, superintendent of Seattle Public Schools. “Throughout the life of our collaboration, they have demonstrated time and again that they are committed to expanding resources and providing immediate and tangible solutions for Seattle Public Schools students and families. We extend our gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Amazon and look forward to an even greater partnership in the future.”
Amazon also donated $700,000 in cash and $150,000 in Amazon Gift Cards to Bellevue LifeSpring to support all 29 schools in the Bellevue School District. Bellevue LifeSpring supports nearly 4,000 underserved students enrolled in the Bellevue School District and their families. Since the Fund was created with Bellevue LifeSpring in 2020, there have been more than 15,000 instances of student support, including issuing more than 5,400 food vouchers for students, ensuring 178 students remained in their homes, and providing clothing for 666 students.
“Our colleagues are working with students and families during these incredibly tough times, and many of the families need support from the Right Now Needs Fund,” said Julie Bronson, family engagement and preschool coordinator at the Bellevue School District. “The challenges are wide-ranging, from food and clothing needs to help with housing while facing financial challenges and other emergencies. We are very grateful for the support from Amazon and our partnership with both the Amazon and Bellevue LifeSpring teams because it ensures a quick response so that no child goes without basic supports that we all deserve.”
School-based staff within the districts work with students and families to identify needs and submit requests for financial assistance through their respective nonprofit partner. In addition, any school community member can request assistance if they notice a specific student need. To date, every school within Seattle Public Schools and the Bellevue School District has used the Right Now Need Fund to help students.
Since launching the first Right Now Needs Fund in Seattle in 2018, Amazon has donated more than $8 million to provide support across all 106 schools within Seattle Public Schools and all 29 schools in the Bellevue School District. Combined, the donations have supported more than 55,000 requests for support—from clothing to hygiene products to school supplies— for students and their families.
Additional donations from Amazon:
- 9,000 laptops and devices to Seattle Public Schools for remote learning.
- More than 1 million school meals to Seattle Public Schools students during the pandemic to help ensure that students who rely on school meals had access to food while learning remotely.
- $1 million to the City of Bellevue’s Health and Human Services Fund to support local families in need who were disproportionately affected by COVID-19
August 9, 2021Amazon continues Right Now Needs Fund in Northern Virginia with additional $1 million donation.Amazon is renewing its commitment to the Right Now Needs Fund in Northern Virginia for the upcoming academic year with an additional $1 million investment. The donation will support students attending Arlington Public Schools, Alexandria City Public Schools, and Fairfax County Public Schools. The Fund, in partnership with the nonprofit Communities In Schools of NOVA, helps remove barriers to learning and works to meet the basic needs of thousands of schoolchildren from underserved communities.Photo by Tony Powell© Tony Powell. Amazon Right Now Needs Fund NoVa Back to School Volunteer Backpack Event. August 9, 2021Photo by Tony Powell© Tony Powell. Amazon Right Now Needs Fund NoVa Back to School Volunteer Backpack Event. August 9, 2021Photo by Tony Powell© Tony Powell. Amazon Right Now Needs Fund NoVa Back to School Volunteer Backpack Event. August 9, 2021Photo by Tony Powell
Launched last year to support 59 Northern Virginia schools during the pandemic, the Right Now Needs Fund gives students immediate access to clothing, hygiene products, and other basic supplies to help them focus on their studies.
This year, the Fund will continue to provide support for students’ immediate needs, in the region. Site coordinators with Communities In Schools of NOVA will work with school social workers to distribute Amazon-provided supplies tailored to specific community needs. School social workers and site coordinators will also help individual students access the Fund for much-needed items, from books to winter coats, throughout the year.
Support is provided through prepaid Amazon Vouchers, or Amazon Education Assistance Product Vouchers, which students can redeem online at their convenience. The Fund will also support educational community programs and events, including tech literacy workshops, college advisement, and career panels.
To begin the yearlong $1 million investment for the 2021-22 school year, Amazon will donate new backpacks filled with thousands of essential school supplies to qualifying elementary and middle schools in Northern Virginia. Amazon is working in partnership with Communities In Schools of NOVA to fulfill students' basic needs as they prepare to return to the classroom.
October 10, 2020Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is making another $1 million donation to support the immediate needs of thousands of students from underserved communities across Northern Virginia. Communities In Schools NOVA will distribute Amazon’s donation through a new “Right Now Needs Fund”—a flexible fund designed to meet the basic needs of schoolchildren and help eliminate barriers to learning. The Right Now Needs Fund in Northern Virginia will provide students with immediate access to urgently needed items including food, clothing, and school supplies across all 41 Arlington Public Schools and programs and all 18 Alexandria City Public Schools.
Site Coordinators and school social workers within each of the school districts and schools will work with families to identify individual student needs and request assistance from the Fund. Communities In Schools NOVA, leveraging existing relationships with both school districts, will distribute Amazon Education Assistance Product Vouchers – a prepaid payment designed specifically for education-related needs. Students and their families can redeem the vouchers for a wide variety of carefully curated items that students need to be successful at school, including food, school supplies for at-home learning, warm clothing, hygiene items, and more. By using the prepaid vouchers, students and families can redeem much-needed items in a dignified and convenient way.
“The start of this school year has been difficult for many families across our new home of Northern Virginia, and we are determined to provide support to the students who need it most,” said Jay Carney, Amazon Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs. “At Amazon, we are always looking for innovative solutions to tough challenges, and we are confident that the flexibility and speed built into our new Right Now Needs Fund will help ensure that more students from underserved communities can focus on their studies, and not fall behind as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.”
Amazon recently donated nearly 800 Mi-Fi devices and $75,000 to secure thousands of headsets for students across Northern Virginia starting the school year from home. In addition, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Amazon’s HQ2 region, Amazon donated $1 million to kick-start emergency response efforts, provided thousands of devices to groups supporting students in need, donated cash and in-kind products to local nonprofits and food banks, paid local restaurants to prepare and deliver 10,000 lunches and dinners for first responders, frontline healthcare workers, and vulnerable neighbors, and funded delivery services to provide more than 50,000 meals—60,000 pounds of food—directly to the doorsteps of local seniors and those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Amazon also donated $3.9 million to nonprofit CodeVA to help make virtual computer science curriculum and training available Virginia teachers and students so that they don’t fall behind in learning this increasingly important skillset. There are currently more than 50 schools and counting in the state of Virginia part of the Amazon Future Engineer program.
September 29, 2020Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is making a more than $2.5 million donation to support the immediate needs of thousands of students from underserved communities within the Puget Sound region. With this donation, Amazon is expanding its innovative Right Now Needs Fund, designed to meet the basic needs of schoolchildren and their families and eliminate barriers to learning, such as challenges with food, shelter, clothing, school supplies, and more.
Amazon will donate more than $1.4 million to Bellevue LifeSpring to launch a new Right Now Needs Fund in Bellevue to support students in need at all 28 Bellevue School District schools. The funds in Bellevue can be distributed to students immediately. In addition, Amazon’s $1.3 million donation to The Alliance for Education will expand the existing Right Now Needs Fund in Seattle across 104 schools.
The Fund was established by Amazon in late 2018 with an initial $2 million investment and has already provided Seattle Public Schools students with over 17,000 instances of support since inception for basic needs including everything from new eyeglasses to an asthma inhaler. To date, each of the 104 Seattle Public Schools have used the Right Now Needs Fund to help students. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March, the Right Now Needs Fund in Seattle rapidly distributed more than $500,000 to students, a 27% increase from the same time last year, with the vast majority of those donations going towards food insecurity and housing assistance.
"The start of this school year is difficult for many families in need across the Puget Sound, and we want to provide more students from underserved communities with what they need to be successful while learning from home, whether that’s new technology, healthy meals, or a lifeline to call in a pinch," said David Zapolsky, Amazon General Counsel and Senior Vice President and Alliance for Education board member. “We value speed, flexibility, and scale when we build and operate. Our Right Now Needs Funds help schools exercise these same values to support students in the community, and we’re excited to extend this support to Bellevue with our support of Bellevue LifeSpring."
Family Engagement Specialists within each of the districts and schools work with families on identifying needs and submit requests for financial assistance through their respective nonprofit partner. In addition, any school community member can put in a request if they notice a specific student need.
In addition to the Right Now Needs Fund donations. Amazon recently donated $1 million to the City of Bellevue’s Health and Human Services Fund to support local families in need disproportionately affected by COVID-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, Amazon, Bellevue LifeSpring and the Bellevue School District created and implemented pilot programs to provide immediate food and hygiene products to families living in poverty in Bellevue. Amazon donated more than $60,000 in emergency funds to support students in Bellevue and Seattle, and donated 5,000 headsets to support students learning from home across the Puget Sound region. Amazon also donated nearly 9,000 laptops to Seattle Public Schools and is continuing to deliver thousands of meals for Seattle Public Schools students.