Katie Jessop, President
Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Private Practice Owner
Founding Employee of Lumen High School, Therapist for Bee Kind Garden
Katie is honored to provide leadership and support to Giving Back Packs as its Board President, because Giving Back Packs embodies so many of the values she cherishes. “I believe that connection and empathy will always pave the way to deep change and hope,” she says.
Katie is a licensed mental health counselor who has worked in private practice, in public schools, and with nonprofits and for-profit agencies—always with a strong focus on making things better for children and families in our community. She has 15 years of experience working with the complex intersections of poverty, addiction, and homelessness. Alongside her work with Giving Back Packs, she is currently helping to open Lumen High School (opening fall 2020), a public charter high school for teen parents that will include onsite childcare and services. Katie and her husband have three children, ages 2, 6, and 20.
Barbara Brock, Board Member
Homelessness Advocate, Retired Professor at Eastern Washington University
Barbara Brock is a longtime advocate for homeless issues in Spokane, and she was part of Camp Hope, the winter 2018 encampment of activists and homeless individuals outside Spokane City Hall. When Barbara discovered the person-centered work of Giving Back Packs, she realized her values aligned with it perfectly.
As a board member, Barbara works to put a face on homelessness for the housed community, because, she explains, it’s much harder to hate a real face. She and several of her homeless friends are bringing the presentation “Putting a Face on Homelessness” to neighborhood councils across Spokane, spreading the message of human connection that goes deeper than assumptions and labels.
Barbara also has her eye on systemic solutions for the needs homeless people face: more public toilets, safe and secure storage, shower facilities, and a free zone of transportation in the city. She is a retired professor from Eastern Washington University, where she taught for 28 years.
Sarah Grant Welliver, Board Member
Owner, Spokane Party Bus, BoxFit Boxing Gym, Lem’s Pops
Promoter at Beat Boxing Promotions
Sarah Grant Welliver saw the original Facebook post in 2015, when Rick first asked for donations to fill a backpack for a homeless man in need, and her interest was sparked.
Sarah has the gift of being there for the moments that count most—from seeing and sharing the very first Giving Back Packs post, to volunteering at Spokane’s winter warming shelters and giving out conversation and hugs to the people who stay there, to owning a party bus business that lets her be a supportive part of people’s “best days.” She is excited to bring her heart for service and her joy in moments of pure human connection to her work as a board member for Giving Back Packs.
With her husband, Sarah owns Spokane Party Bus; BoxFit, a boxing gym in North Spokane; and Lem’s Pops, an ice cream truck business. She has four adult children and a 5-year-old daughter, Lemyn, who is the namesake of Lem’s Pops.
Marggy Burke, Board Member
Owner, The Monroe Room, Retired Teacher at Spokane Public Schools
After retiring from 40 years of teaching in Spokane Public Schools, Marggy Burke was grateful to find that she had the time and resources to get involved in a nonprofit focused on giving back, and she joined the board of Giving Back Packs. “I have been very fortunate in my life,” Marggy says, “And I certainly have the time to share with others, to let them know they are not alone.” She loves helping people, and is inspired by Rick’s compassion.
Outside of work, Marggy enjoys spending time with her husband of 40 years, their 3 children, and their 5 grandchildren. She is mother to a recognized Spokane figure, City Councilwoman Kate Burke. Marggy and her husband have also recently started a new business, The Monroe Room, an affordable venue on North Monroe Street for parties and events, seminars, classes, and other community activities.
Hayley Lydig, Event Director
Owner, Hayley Lydig Events
Born and raised in Spokane, Hayley Lydig is more than familiar with the talk that surrounds homelessness in our city. But, she says, working with Rick and Giving Back Packs has completely changed her perspective. She no longer looks past the homeless people that she sees on the streets. Instead, she sees them with empathy for what they have survived and the path that led them to where they are now. In the work of Giving Back Packs, Hayley sees how moments of human connection and belonging can begin to change the path of someone’s life.
Hayley is the Event Director for Giving Back Packs, lending her expertise to event planning and fundraising. She owns Hayley Lydig Events, which specializes in nonprofit events and donor relations. Outside of work, you’ll find her downhill skiing in winter and spending her summers at the lake.
Board and Staff Photography by Ashley Potter Photography