When you think of the story of the Ark, what may stand out to you is a safe haven amidst a heavy storm, with precious cargo cradled within, built by a person, in order to try to save those he loved. Now whether the story of the Ark rings true with you or not, one thing that we know is for certain; that there are people right now, out in this world who are trying their best to save whomever they can.
Meet Danny Burkett, founder of Our Ark Homeless Youth Support Services. A 501c3 Non-Profit based in Lacey, WA, this program is unique in that it targets some of the most vulnerable among our population: the kids. Danny has opened his heart and literally his home, to outreach for homeless youth in our area, ranging from ages 13-25, with a mission to provide them with necessities, clothing, resources. and of course, love. We had the honor of joining Danny one afternoon, as he stopped at a few of the homeless encampments in Olympia and Lacey. What struck us immediately was the trust he built with those that he’s gotten to know over the 6 years he has been providing this service.
He drives along his normal routes, 3 or more times a week, in his Durango stock piled with clothes, shoes, blankets, snacks, sanitary supplies, and plastic bags. He goes to where they are, asks what they need, and gives in abundance, taking note if he needs to get anything else for them before the next visit. He invites them into his home if they need to do laundry, or take showers, and has a no judgement attitude towards them. He has even helped reunite families with their children, or for those parents that reach out, provides updates that they are around and ok.
Our Ark has been recognized in Thurston County as a leader in the community, with recently receiving the 2022 best of Lacey Award in Youth Social Services. They put on events for donations, arrange holiday dinners for anyone to come and cook at in partnership kitchens, and are constantly looking to expand to have a facility in which they can welcome and help even more that need a place to call home.
For these reasons, and so many more, our branch has decided to sponsor Our Ark for our Hawk’s Prairie Pay It Forward recipient. With our donation, we will be shopping for supplies and putting together food and sanitation care packages for Danny, to help in his mission. We also can think of few more deserving for further financial award, as his work directly impacts and open pathways for the youth that he is providing care for.
Please read more about his wonderful non-profit here Our Ark (ourarkyth.org), and let’s continue to help him build Our Ark to rescue as many of our kids in Thurston County as possible.
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