PUYALLUP, Wash. — On a spring Saturday in Puyallup, Tamar Jackson and Kelly Blucher are hard at work. They're part of something called the Pierce County Community Engagement Task Force, a group that organizes events like this one — Collaboration for a Cause.
"It started at the beginning of the pandemic when we really saw a need for services within the community," Jackson said.
The best way to describe Collaboration for a Cause is that it's a resource fair. Businesses, non-profits, and other organizations are here, ready to give people what they need.
"This event is to show the community that we're here in full force for them, we don't ask anything of them, we just want them to come and get the support that they need," Jackson said.
By the end of this Puyallup event, Collaboration for a Cause will have helped two hundred and forty people access resources, find jobs and get the help they need.
And since they started at the beginning of the pandemic, they've assisted more than 3500 people.
One of the most unique elements of Collaboration for a Cause is its Universal Intake Form. Each person who attends fills it out, circling what they need — and the organizers make sure those people are connected to their specified resources. It's a lot of work, but they've got help.
"We rely on partners to not only sponsor our events but really put the word out. And Harborstone is a really great example of just an amazing partner who showed up and really helped us grow," Blucher said.
But to Jackson and Blucher, this isn't just an act of service. To them, this hits deep.
"I know what it is to be homeless in a car with a child looking for employment, not having housing, obviously not having access to food," Blucher said. "So Tamar and I got together because he, you know, he has a lot of that same lived experience. And we're like, 'Hey, how can we bring organizations together to really serve our community?'"
This is how they serve them.
"It feels amazing," Bulcher said. "But at the same time, I know we have so much work to do."
"We just need the community to show up," Jackson said. "And as long as you show up, we have something here for you.
If you want to attend, the next Collaboration for a Cause is on Sept. 22 in Tacoma.