Sarah brings over fifteen years of experience in fundraising. Previously she worked as a Development Director, grant writer, and Executive Director for New Futures, Project Hope, Habitat for Humanity, and Rebuilding Together. She participated as a volunteer on the BELONG Partners Board Engagement committee prior to joining the staff in 2019. Sarah took a break to care for her children during the height of the pandemic, and then returned to BELONG Partners in 2022.
Sarah has a BS in Biology. Having close relationships with her elders, Sarah planned to work in elder care after college. During her junior year, she worked in a nursing home and was very discouraged. She quickly learned that corporate elder care is very focused on the financial bottom line! Afterwards, she volunteered to write her first grant for an organization that advocated for nursing home reform. She realized fundraising was a way to make positive change in the world and was instantly hooked!
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Swimming, especially open water swimming, is my favorite. I love the lateral orientation in the water that lets me feel like I’m literally flying in the world’s coolest aquarium – especially when the current is in my favor! The Puget Sound sea floor is a joy to behold. The iridescent kelp and seaweed ripple in unison and it looks like the whole sea floor is dancing together! For me, there is nothing like a good swim.
What are people most surprised to learn about you?
Grief and loss are significant themes in my life. In 2016, 19 months after his diagnosis, my husband, Keith, died from a glioblastoma brain tumor. He was a wonderful partner to me and father to our two young sons. Truly, nothing has or will ever be the same in our lives. Keith’s life keeps me very focused on my life’s purpose and his death gives me an acute awareness of the mortality we all face.
Why are you passionate about working at BELONG Partners?
My mother, and my greatest advocate, is a retired teacher from the Highline School District. I graduated from public schools in Renton, Washington. I believe education, especially public education, is an important foundation of a functioning, peaceful society. I believe schools should be welcoming and affirming to all. BELONG Partners systemic work with educators, parents, and caregivers is exciting to me. Behavior change is messy, challenging work and I applaud everyone with the courage and commitment for it.