The normally bustling halls of the West Central Community Center now sit empty -- but the staff there is working harder than ever to serve families that need it the most. 
 
"It's really hard to watch families struggle to grasp those small means that seem like not much to a lot of people, but are really important to our families," Sierra Ross said. Said is the Youth Development Assistant Manager at the center. 
 
Ross knows firsthand what some of these families are going through. 
 
"Especially youth in the West Central Community are in communities that tend to struggle, I come from a community like that in Cleveland, and I just want to give back and show kids that they can have a future no matter where they come from and that it doesn't matter where you come from but that you can still succeed in life," Ross said.
 
Once schools shutdown, Ross immediately went to work finding new was to connect with their families from a safe distance. 
 
She started a phone schedule to make sure that someone from the center is reaching out to families they serve at least once a week. 
 
"Call our kids, and talk to them, and talk to our parents and see what's going right, what's hard, what support they need, even if that's just a conversation and my team has been really great with that as well.. and going off and helping in any way that they can and dropping stuff off and driving all over Spokane to make sure our families have what they need," Ross said. 
 
For Easter Sunday, her team packed 150 Easter Baskets to deliver to the center's families. She's constantly thinking up new programs to keep kids connected.
 
"One of the other things that we're doing is, kindergartners, since kindergarten is so focused on learning social cues, how to interact with people, so all of our kindergartners, we have 20 of them, each have a pen pal that they're writing letters or sending pictures back and forth to, and it's been really fun," Ross said. 
 
Ross is also filling in the gaps in meals for some families by revamping the Bite 2 Go program.
 
"Bite 2 Go delivers about 100 bags of snacks and kid friendly microwave meals each Thursday to Holmes elementary. Teachers typically pass them out to students, WCCC REC team has been delivering the bags each Thursday to families’ doorsteps who typically receive them," Ross said.
 
For the center's Executive Director, Kim Ferraro, this pandemic is revealing how much her staff really care. 
 
"Sierra is magical, some of the innovations that she's coming up with, the pen pals and the Easter baskets, is stunning to me. and reaching out to our board to get donations and donations from the community, she doesn't stop," Ferraro said. 
 
Ferraro said fewer people are using the center because of the "Stay Home" order, though their doors are still open to serve the community. They are still providing WIC benefits and will connect anyone in their community with the services they might need. 
 
One thing the West Central Community Center really needs right now is donations. They could use anything from toys to toilet paper to non-perishable foods. If you have a little extra or just want to help out, click HERE.