Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

Central Wash. grandmother speaks up for struggling families

Christina 01/19/11


Children’s Alliance members took action for kids to honor and implement the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 17. 

Senate TestimonyDeanna Potter (left), her husband
Gaelyn and brother-in-law Dennis got up before dawn and drove nearly
four hours from Sunnyside in Central Washington to the Capitol in
Olympia. They came to speak up and urge lawmakers to stand strong for
kids in tough times.

Deanna and Gaelyn are raising their six-year-old granddaughter, Lilly. When Gaelyn lost his job, they found themselves struggling to get by.

Deanna came to Olympia to tell her family’s story and urge lawmakers to support a proposal to provide a children’s benefit to out-of-work Washingtonians who are raising kids on unemployment benefits.

The proposed benefit of $15 per week, per child would help Deanna’s family and thousands of others. She gave excellent testimony to the Senate Committee considering the bill. It was her first time giving testimony, and she was an inspiring voice for kids. Here’s a quote from her testimony:

“With this proposed increase in unemployment, it means we can pay more of our living expenses and relieve some of the stress. To you, $15 a week may not make much difference, but to us it could mean we get to stay in our home and not our car.

“I urge you to remember my family and all the other families struggling to get by on unemployment as you consider these proposals.”

After her testimony, Deanna and her family stopped by her Senator’s office. Senator Jim Honeyford (15th District) came out and greeted the family and thanked them for coming to Olympia.

Other Children’s Alliance members were standing strong for kids, too. Members from Olympia, Seattle, and Marysville, including students and moms raising kids through these tough times, joined hundreds of people to march, rally and meet with their legislators as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day People’s Summit for Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity. Several members promised to return on February 22 for Have a Heart for Kids Day.