Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools to launch “Alumni of Yelm” fundraising program


Local non-profit organization Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools is aiming to give back to the district in a big way with the launch of its “Alumni of Yelm” program.

The organization is focused on supporting funding for Yelm Community Schools students along with advocating for the next district levy that will presumably take place next year.

The “Alumni of Yelm” program will launch this August, but the organization has already received strong community support as 36 residents, parents and alumni have committed to donating to the program. AMW the Studio serves as the program’s first business sponsor. The organization is seeking 50 regular contributors and 10 founding sponsors to make their vision a reality.

Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools wants “Alumni of Yelm” to become the “go-to resource” to connect Yelm High School alumni with each other and the broader community. The program will also “assist in a strong levy campaign” while promoting school pride among the 10 facilities in the district.

The contributions that have already been made will enable the “Alumni of Yelm” program to kick off this August in a “big way,” Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools Chair Ashley Lea Brooks said.

“There has always been an importance of giving back to the schools in our district. Many have answered the call, be it in volunteer time, corporate sponsorships or individual donations through fundraisers,” Brooks said. “Our board is comprised of parent volunteers serving in the buildings for years. We recognize the decline in parents and guardians inside the schools while the increase of need is passed by. Our students need [to be] monitored closely while in this environment so they feel seen, supported and safe, especially while the levy dollars are not there to do it for us.”

Brooks said the organization seeks both financial contributions and collaboration time, adding that Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools has a “small and strong” board that’s maintained the mission of bringing advocacy, education and outreach to the public.

The organization aims to acknowledge the importance of funding programs for students, along with services for which the state of Washington doesn’t pay.

“We recognize there are more avenues for funds to get to the programs and people that support our students in schools,” Brooks said. “We invite alumni, parents and citizens to join Citizens for Yelm Schools by serving on a committee or board position. Connect with us on social media under Parents of Yelm or Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools, or visit”

In the monthly donations portion of the website, the organization seeks monthly donors providing $20 contributions per month, and business sponsors donating $30 per month. Donors will be included in the organization’s monthly newsletter, listed on, and receive social media recognition. Businesses will receive identical perks and be listed as sponsors.

The organization’s board include Brooks, Vice Chair Jerry Toompas, Secretary Kait Toompas, Treasurer Gina Cooprider and Volunteer Coordinator Malinda Poirier. The non-profit fell short of its $10,000 fundraising goal for the April Special Election and will continue using that value as its benchmark goal.

Brooks said on behalf of the school district, initial financial contributions will first go toward the cost of running an election for the levy to be featured on the ballot.

“It could be as early as February 2025, so we need to lock that in,” Brooks said.

Once funding for the next levy to be featured is secured, Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools has identified the other non-profit operations operating within YCS that contribute to student success: parent groups.

“Booster clubs and parent teacher organizations are suffering from volunteer burnout, all the while, the threat of increased costs to operate the non-profit organization is real,” Brooks said. “Our goal is to use our platform to encourage more volunteers and to provide resources to our boosters to create an even stronger parent presence in our schools.

“Citizens for Yelm Schools recognizes the challenges that families, students and YCS employees face,” Brooks added. “An hour or two a week in a building can make a difference in the lives of so many students, which in turn affirms the dedication to keeping the ‘community’ in Yelm Community Schools.”

For now, the online fundraiser will be the organization’s only way of accumulating money for its program and for the school district. Follow the group on its self-titled Facebook page for further updates regarding the levy, the non-profit’s fundraisers and more.