SeaTac Back to School Fair

A Huge Back to School Success for our Students!

A confident, prepared student arrives at the first day of school ready to learn.  That’s why our Back to School Fair is so important.  This year’s event at Valley Ridge Park on Thursday was a colorful, fun, giant success, providing 2150 backpacks with age-appropriate school supplies to children and teenagers from the SeaTac area!

“One of my favorite moments was watching two young girls after they’d gotten their backpacks, going through them and pumping their fists when they found something they were especially excited about!” said Refugees Northwest Community Programs Manager Amy Wagner.

Binders, writing paper, composition books, notebooks, pencils, pens, highlighters, calculators, glue sticks, rulers, scissors, erasers, erasers and other supplies in brand new backpacks mean kids can concentrate on academics when class starts and parents can get much-needed relief from worry.  One mother remarked, “It’s such a help to have these things taken care of.  We just can’t afford to keep up with all the school supplies.”

We want these children, teens, and families excited for school, not stressed about where the money will come from or embarrassed by showing up without what they need.  Every child deserves the opportunity to join their peers with excitement and hope as the academic year launches!

The backpacks and school items were just the start.  The day also included free haircuts for more than 150 kids and free dental checkups for about 100.  That translates to kids who are healthier and feel good about themselves as the school year approaches.

Since the 5-hour event is a celebration of community and a chance for families to meet and mingle as well, some 1500 hotdogs and more than 250 meals were served! “It was so great to see grandparents and parents with all ages of kids getting a chance to laugh, and eat, and play together,” Amy added.  The smiles and excited chatter told us everything we needed to know about the good that happens when the community comes together for such a great cause!


Refugees Northwest is grateful to everyone who made this day so special! Family Resource Center and the City of Seatac as well as a coalition of sponsors organized this event. Our partners and 45 exhibitors provided outreach including services to assist and stabilize families, connections to the Highline School District, educational opportunities, and so much more.  More than 50 volunteers from the community manned our registration tables and backpack distribution area. Police Explorers, volunteers from Coldwell Banker Danforth, Swedish, Alaska Airlines, Sedgwick, World Vision and Angle Lake Neighborhood Church worked hard to make the day possible.  Stylists from Gene Juarez contributed their talents to make the kids look great.  Volunteers from Kids Cavity Prevention Program performed the dental checks.  And Rontra Freight generously stored and delivered all those backpacks.  Graham Trucking kicked in by sponsoring our hydroplane simulator!  Staff, volunteers, and the families we serve all came away impressed and renewed by what can be accomplished when we work together to build a stronger community.  See you at next year’s Back to School Fair!

If you’d like to know more about Refugees NW or if you’re interesting in donating or volunteering, please check out our website at, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram!