July 2023: Uplift! A Celebration of Children

March, 7 2023

Bridging The Gap

SWWA Center for the Arts has teamed up with other community change makers to produce “Uplift!” -- a summer day of giving that will bridge the gap for many children between school years at a time when it’s most needed. Elementary children from Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington and Friends of the Children will each receive a $200 gift card to purchase clothes, upcoming school supplies, and more at a local Walmart, as well as the opportunity to join in fun art and music activities.

Uplift!” is a shopping and arts activity event where children are paired up with a shopping buddy to buy school supplies and clothes, toys and other goods for themselves and their families. Other shopping events around the nation are typically done during the holidays. However, children facing circumstantial hardship tend to suffer more during the summer months for several reasons: For the more than 22 million children who depend on school breakfast and lunch programs, summer vacation means worrying about when they’ll eat next. Furthermore, for many children -- especially children of low-income families -- summer can be a season of boredom, inactivity, and isolation. This incredible partnership between Clark County’s powerhouse nonprofits means children have the opportunity to shop for themselves while taking time out to simply be a kid.

Several ticketed events throughout Vancouver will be part of a fundraising campaign leading up to the summer shopping day. Scheduled and proposed events include an elevated wine tasting and culinary experience with live music at Uptown Barrel Room, a live Jazz concert at Kiggins Theatre featuring renowned Jazz musicians, and “Welcome To the Club” concert at Hotel Indigo with Billboard Chart-topping R & B artist Andy Stokes -- a two-time inductee into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, Andy has performed at the Waterfront Blues Festival, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and venues from Seattle to Tokyo and everywhere in between. 

In July, the children will enjoy their special shopping day, meet the Star Wars cast from Cloud City Garrison, create collaborative artwork and receive art supplies through Artstra’s Creative Relief Clark County, experience the magic of music with Beacock Music's "Musical Instrument Petting Zoo," and join in other fun activities. The Clark County Food Bank will be on hand with a snack “demonstration” station and will distribute food-filled backpacks to the children.

Community Partners and Sponsors

Clark County Food Bank

Clark County Food Bank

Alleviating Hunger and its Root Causes in Clark County, Washington Clark County Food Bank distributes 8 million pounds of food and 6.7 million meals a year, working with 43 nonprofit partner agencies at 130 distribution sites, along with food bank led programs, to serve neighbors facing food insecurity throughout Clark County. With over 100,000 hungry individuals in Clark County, the need is great. Find out how you can help our community by giving your time, food, or other resources.

Artstra's Creative Relief Clark County

Artstra's Creative Relief Clark County

Creative Relief Clark County is a program of Artstra, providing arts supplies, project ideas, and instruction to communities with limited access to the tools of creativity. Creative Relief gives people the rewarding and healing experience of creating with their own hands. Whether drawing, painting or writing, this program offers a bit of relief for both adults and children from the stress and difficulty they may be experiencing.

Beacock Music

Beacock Music

Beacock Music is one of the largest independent music stores in the country; boasting an award-winning Education Center, complete repair facilities, an outstanding School Services Division, a vibrant retail floor, our Standing Ovation cafe, large rental and print music departments. Beacock Music has earned a reputation in the industry - and our community - as THE place to go!

Cloud City Garrison

Cloud City Garrison / Star Wars Oregon

Cloud City Garrison is committed to the community. They offer support at charity events, fundraisers, and community functions by appearing as film-authentic Star Wars characters. They make most of their appearances in support of local non-profit and community groups, raising both awareness and funds. Charities they support include Make a Wish Foundation, Randall Children’s Hospital, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Salvation Army, and the Special Olympics.

Last year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provided more than $1.5 billion in cash and in-kind to support programs that align with their philanthropic priorities. Their focus is on areas where they can do the most good — combining the unique strengths of the business alongside their philanthropy. Today,, through the combined philanthropic efforts of both Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, creates opportunities for people to live better every day.