Every child is important: North Bend's Encompass named 'Best Valley Non-Profit'

Nicole Demetrescu, Encompass physical therapist, guides a youngster as he scales the new rock-climbing wall at Encompass Downtown North Bend. It will be showcased at an open house on April 17 - Courtesy photo
Nicole Demetrescu, Encompass physical therapist, guides a youngster as he scales the new rock-climbing wall at Encompass Downtown North Bend. It will be showcased at an open house on April 17
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Voted ‘Best Nonprofit’ by Record readers, Encompass is an independent, non-profit, children’s and family-services organization established in 1966 with a unique mission: To nurture children, enrich families and inspire community. The organization’s programs nurture typical and developmentally challenged children, enrich families in all their diversity and inspire community throughout the Snoqualmie Valley and the greater Eastside.

Clay Eals, Encompass’ ever-present communicator, shared the following thoughts:

What’s the best part of working with kids?

“That’s easy—it’s the children’s smiling faces, which we see every day. They reflect (1) our inspirational mission, (2) the expertise, passion and dedication of our staff to execute the mission and (3) the deep and longstanding support of our thousands of program participants (especially parents and other caregivers of children), financial and in-kind donors, volunteers and others in the communities we serve.”

What might be the biggest challenge that Encompass faces today?

“It is no secret that, even during recent economic difficulties, the Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah, Sammamish and the greater Eastside are growing by leaps and bounds. With this growth comes a growing need for programs to serve children, families and their communities. In planning for the future, we stand on the shoulders of giants who decades ago foresaw the need to build facilities, staff and programs to fulfill our mission. We are indebted to this legacy in succeeding in an economic climate during which other nonprofits have struggled. With strong board vision and leadership, we are poised to take bold steps to enhance our facilities, staff and programs in ways that serve our growing and changing communities and ensure our sustainability. Stay tuned!”

What’s something about the Encompass experience that most folks around here may not know?

“Many in the communities we serve are familiar with one or two of our programs and services, but often they do not realize the wide-ranging breadth of our offerings, from nationally accredited preschool to therapy for all ages of children with speech, motor and other developmental challenges, from parenting workshops and on-on-one coaching to Family Nights and a childcare co-op, from an imaginative array of summer camps and enrichment classes to support and advocacy for families in need. Also, many do not know that everything we do is guided by studies in other settings and by nationally practiced family support principles. In addition, some do not know that we have programs for parents of pre-teens and older, from Super Sitters to a summer camp assistant training program to “The Big Transition to Middle School.” Finally, some do not understand that we serve families from all walks of life.

Specific developments, of which many may not be aware, include:

• We have a broad reach throughout and beyond the Snoqualmie Valley, which is reflected in our facilities. Besides our Main Campus at 1407 Boalch Ave. N.W., North Bend, we have two other sites: Encompass Downtown North Bend at 209 Main Ave. S., and Encompass Issaquah in Blakely Hall in the Issaquah Highlands.

• We offer newly established services that include infant and teen mental-health therapy and sports-injury recovery.

• Our traditional Monday-through-Wednesday preschool program is now offered through Thursdays and Fridays for parents seeking such a schedule.

• Our enhanced volunteer program has boosted recruitment, training and retention of those who contribute their time and talents on behalf of Encompass.

• We have expanded our groundbreaking, multi-workshop Encompass Parenting series, based on Parenting Counts (developed by the Talaris Institute), and offers a rotation of such workshops

in Snoqualmie Valley locations as well as at the Virginia Mason and Swedish medical centers in Issaquah starting this May.

• Our recently launched Social Skills Groups and specialized classes (“Handwriting without Tears” and “I Have a Picky Eater”) continue to grow.

• Our high-profile, can’t-miss SipFest fundraising event at Historic Pickering Barn in Issaquah, is headed for its third straight sellout on Saturday evening, May 11, 2013. This and other events, including our Autumn Gala, the Snoqualmie Valley’s social event of the year, held the first Saturday of each November, provide support that is crucial to our sustainability.

How can locals help make Encompass successful?

Avenues for involvement abound:

• Come and tour Encompass.

•  Volunteer your time and talents. We have opportunities that fit all needs and desires.

• Attend a fundraising event. SipFest, listed above, is right around the corner.

• Visit our website,, and our Facebook page.

• Learn about our wide-ranging slate of workshops and activities and sign up for one.

•  Drop in anytime during weekday business hours and encourage others to do so.

How does it feel to be selected as Best Non-profit?

We are both proud and humbled by this distinction, and we are deeply grateful for the heartfelt support of the communities we serve.

What is ahead that Encompass would really like to celebrate?

One cause for celebration is imminent. Through the generosity of PACCAR, we recently augmented our Encompass downtown North Bend office with a beautiful addition that allows us to expand our speech, motor and physical therapies for children of all ages. Highlighted by a colorful, floor-to-ceiling mural, the new space features new equipment that includes a rock-climbing wall, a ball crawl, a swing and ladder. We are celebrating this with an ice cream social open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 17. The address is 209 Main Ave. S., North Bend. Kids are welcome to attend and enjoy the ball pit, balloons, and, of course, ice cream! Therapists will be on hand to answer questions.

• Learn more at



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