Sarah Grant Welliver, President
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.
Crystal Bodeau, Board Treasurer
South Hill Branch Manager, First Interstate Bank
Crystal Bodeau started working in banking 14 years ago as a teller. Today, she is the manager of First Interstate Bank’s South Hill branch. She brings her years of financial expertise to the role of board treasurer.
Crystal builds community, caring, and safety, no matter what environment she is in. She has helped her bank become a visible partner in the community, participating in National Night Out (a neighborhood/community policing event) and other activities and letting people know the bank is a safe place to be, whether you’re a customer or a neighbor. She also volunteers with foster kids through CASA and the Bee Kind Garden.
She sees Giving Back Packs’ work as communication, education, and building connections, for Spokane’s housed population as much as for people who are homeless. “The general public avoids the issue of homelessness. They don’t want to know, because they don’t know how to fix it,” Crystal says. “But we’ve got to wade in to the difficult issues to find a way through. Our solution can’t be to pretend it’s not there.”
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.
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.
Brandon Smith, Board Member
Founder & Co-Owner, Vexing Media
Brandon Smith joined the board of Giving Back Packs because he is inspired by Rick’s work in Spokane. “Rick is just a force of nature. He’s completely genuine, and he makes amazing things happen,” Brandon says.
Brandon and his web design company, Vexing Media, created Giving Back Packs’ branding, and they built and maintain the Giving Back Packs website. Brandon is excited to lend his expertise to the online side of Giving Back Packs’ work, and to explore how technology can continue to play a role in expanding the organization and furthering its goals. In Vexing Media’s portfolio of nonprofit and community-oriented clients, Giving Back Packs fits right in. Outside of work, Brandon is serving as assistant director of the Spokane International Film Festival (SpIFF) for the second year in a row in 2020, as well as sitting on the Contemporary Arts Alliance board, the organization that presents SpIFF. Brandon is also an organizer of the 50 Hour Slam.
Dustin Fedak, Board Member
Dustin Fedak has a big history of giving back to the Spokane community, and he aims to continue that work through being a board member for Giving Back Packs.
Dustin serves as an admin of a large community service group on Facebook and helps his members get involved in causes as diverse as raising money to pay for school lunch debts, volunteering for events for kids who have lost a parent, supporting locally owned businesses, and volunteering for suicide prevention.
When he went out to hand out backpacks the first time, he was touched. “As a human being who has encountered hard times, I know how difficult it can be to move forward if no one is willing to grab your hand,” Dustin says. “I saw that the people we were meeting needed to understand that they are still wanted and needed in our community.”
Outside of work and volunteering, Dustin is busy being a good husband and father. He has a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old.
Scott Hyder, Board Member
Like so many others, Scott got involved with Giving Back Packs through social media. Since Scott lives and works in the Lewiston-Clarkston area (about 2 hours away from Spokane), his ability to engage effectively online has been key. “Even at the beginning, when I was first seeing Facebook videos of the Giving Back Packs team handing out backpacks, Rick caused me to get outside my comfort zone,” Scott says. “He changed how I thought about homeless people. Seeing how he much he cares gives me more energy to care, too, and it has encouraged me to get more involved.” Scott continues his community engagement in Lewiston, in Spokane, and online, leveraging social media’s reach to let him organize activities, share information, turn people out for events, and encourage them to get involved. He plans to contribute his engagement, organizing, and fundraising skills as a board member of Giving Back Packs. Scott does other volunteer work over social media, too, serving as an admin of a large community service group on Facebook and coordinating activities like donating groceries, gas money, and cars to give to single parents in need, supporting volunteer suicide prevention efforts, and organizing and outfitting an annual fishing day for foster kids and their families.
Board and Staff Photography by Ashley Potter Photography