2017 & 2018 were significant years for Trail Youth. They received their first grant from King County’s Best Starts for Kids in November 2017 to open their new coffeehouse and were featured on Mike Rowe’s Returning the Favor in their Grounds of Love episode in June 2018.
Those two events allowed Trail Youth to pay for and finish their dream space to ‘help ensure kids have a safe place to learn, communicate and grow’ in the Snoqualmie Valley. Says executive director Tonya Guinn, “The Best Start Grant was the first we ever applied for… and got it!! We received it for four years. In total, we received $511,000 in 4 years.”
Unfortunately, this year the grant had 177 applicants and only 33 recipients, making the funds Trail Youth counted on no longer available. 100 Women Who Care Greater Snoqualmie Valley were of great help; recently donating 10,000 dollars, and the non-profit does get some funding from the Snoqualmie Tribe and the cities of Snoqualmie & North Bend.
However, the Trail Youth organization serves 225 local youth per month, some several times a week, and more funding is needed. In 2022, the annual fundraiser had 140 people in attendance and raised $100,000.
This year the goal is to have 300 attendees and to raise $125,000. One hundred percent of the fundraiser’s proceeds will directly fund Trail Youth’s successful programs, such as:
- Art & gaming during teen hangout hours
- Education for parents
- Job training: coffee roasting, barista training
- L.E.A.D Internship/Mentorship Business Program
Trail Youth also does internships with students from three big-picture high schools: Gibsen Ek, Two River and the Transitional Learning Center.
TLC is a school for special needs students who need more life skills experience and attend school until they’re 21 years old. TLC students come to the Trail Youth two to three times a week as a class and work on life skills like eye contact when ordering, how to give a tip, and many other areas. Currently, three interns from TLC work at the coffee shop; one is a greeter who uses an eye gauge device to communicate, and the other two are Baristas.
This year’s Trail of Hope Fundraising Banquet will be held at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge 36005 SE Ridge Street Snoqualmie, Washington, 98065, on March 31st from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The evening will include an auction, music, prizes, and dinner and will financially support Trail Youth’s mission to remove negative labels and spread value and worth so youth can reach their full potential.
Tickets purchased before March 1st will receive a $25.00 discount (use the code early at checkout) and table hosts will be invited to a special coffee roasting event where they can preview auction items.
“Because you were loving, I am excited about my future.” 17-year-old Trail Youth Teen who had contemplated suicide.
Please help support Trail Youth’s key programs that remind youth they are loved, valuable, worthy, and here for a purpose. They are making an impact in the community, and with your support, they hope to serve more teens to better their future. Every dollar donated means the world to youth needing encouragement, affirmation, and a safe space.