Seattle Works

A blog that documents all things Seattle Works…and much much more!

Ready–Set–Coordinate! September 5, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 3:24 pm
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Cheesy blog title, I know — but it caught your attention, didn’t it? And now that I have you here, let me ask you a few questions…

1. Have you attended 5 or more Hot Projects in the last year?

2. Do you have a great time and meet cool new people at each project?

3. Are you oh so jealous of the Seattle Works Volunteer Leaders who start off each project with an ice breaker, take attendance and make sure everyone WestSide Babyenjoys themselves?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you would be a GREAT Hot Project Coordinator! Not only do you still get to attend your favorite projects, but you’ll take on a little more responsibility and build your communication and leadership skills. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

So, what do we expect from Hot Project Coordinators? You’ll attend an initial training where you’ll learn everything you need to know and then you commit to leading three projects per quarter — or once a month! If you think it sounds easy enough — that’s because it is!

If you’re interested in joining the Cool Coordinator Club, email Irina at irina@seattleworks.org!

 

Summer at Seattle Works- full speed ahead! July 23, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag,Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 10:21 am
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This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Bite of Seattle at the City Center. The weather was gorgeous, which means that everyone in Seattle (and their dogs, of course!), trekked into the city to get a bite at the festival. There were vendors for ages, bands playing live music, and children splashing in the fountain.

 

Bite

 

Wandering among the booths, there was never a smooth traffic flow. It was similar to the stop-and-go perils of 5:00 traffic in Seattle. I had to weave throughout people and avoid strollers while still taking in the exciting sights and smells of a festival.

In the world of volunteerism, you can have many opportunities thrown at you at once- my best example is during the holiday months of November and December. However, during the summer months, we enjoy relaxing and vacation, and service can sometimes slip our minds.

In my traffic analogy, I think of Seattle Works as the traffic light for volunteers in Seattle. We work to make sure that young professionals can always have the opportunity to give back. Even throughout the summer months, we offer programming for those who want to volunteer in a one-time commitment and separate programs for those who want to sample different organizations over a four-month period.

This may be a stretch, but In addition to acting as a traffic light, Seattle Works is the radio playing in your car as you travel throughout the city. Volunteering should always be a good time, and I hope that everyone who gives back thoroughly enjoys the experience.

 

traffic2

 

So go ahead and brave the traffic, crank up the radio dial, and join Seattle Works this summer!

 

Hot projects: http://www.seattleworks.org/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Calendar_Page

 

 

 

Volunteer Your Way to Employment July 4, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 10:00 am
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Here’s some not-so-surprising news: there’s a clear relationship between volunteering and finding employment. What kind of relationship, you ask? According to the Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment Report, with research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), volunteering can…

- Increase employment prospects by helping job seekers learn new skills;

- Help expand volunteers’ networks;

- Encourage volunteers to take on leadership roles.volunteer_report_image

Doesn’t that just want to make you roll up your sleeves and go paint a school right now? If not, here’s a little more incentive to do so:

- Volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers;

- Volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51 percent higher likelihood of finding employment;

- Volunteers living in rural areas have a 55 percent higher likelihood of finding employment.

So, if you’re in the market for a new job – or just want to give back to your community – sign up for a project or three on our Project Calendar and call it a successful networking event!

 

Hot Project Testimonials – We Feel Special! June 4, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 9:41 am
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It’s no secret that our programs wouldn’t be the same without our amazing community partners. They work with us to provide projects for Team Works, Hot Projects and HandsOn Leadership; they give The Bridge graduates a chance to serve on their board and they jumped at the opportunity to work with us through our newest program, CommonWealth. Yes, it’s definitely not secret – they’re fantastic and we show our appreciation often. 

What gets us all volun-tingly inside is when we receive unexpected emails from community partners that are filled with appreciation for what we do and our volunteers. Below are a few Hot Project testimonials that we’ve gotten in the last few weeks:

“Katie Cochrane, Project Coordinator, was fantastic and so helpful! She was well-prepared and taught us a thing or two about volunteer coordination on-site.  All of the volunteers arrived at our Communities In Schools Mardi Gras Dinner & Auction on time and ready to work. They really understood why they were there, the impact of our event and worked diligently the entire evening. Most volunteers even offered to stay beyond their commitment! I’m so grateful for the help and support from Seattle Works Hot Project volunteers!!! We were able to cut our set up time in half.”

- Maria Muñoz, State Board Member, Communities In Schools of Washington

“They [volunteers] were all phenomenal! I can’t tell you how happy we have been with the folks you’ve sent our way; we really value our connection with Seattle Works!”

- Sarah Bigley, KidsQuest Children’s Museum

“We’ve really enjoyed having so many of your volunteers and would love more groups this summer!”

- LeAnne Chow, Volunteer Coordinator, Phinney Neighborhood Association

Pretty great, right? If you have ever volunteered for a Hot Project – pat yourself on the back! If you haven’t tried a Hot Project yet – go for it. The hosts are ecstatic to have you and you do essential work for so many organizations. Sign up here! 

Thank you for the appreciation, community partners! 

 

 

Community Partners Make the World Go Round. April 26, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 2:18 pm
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So – National Volunteer Week is still happening! And we have had a great time spotlighting some of our awesome volunteers. But, now it’s time to recognize our awesome community partners – the ones who work hard to keep their organizations ready for our volunteers!

One of our favorite places to volunteer is Marra Farm. We have numerous projects with them yearly (20 in 2012). After each project, our volunteers are eager to go back! So, what makes Marra Farm so special? Well…

- It’s an urban community farm that engages people in sustainable agriculture and education while enhancing local food security.

- Marra Farm generates tons of fresh, organic produce each year.

- In 2010, more than 1,800 volunteers contributed over 7,200 hours to help grow more than 22,000 pounds!

- The food grown at Marra Farm goes to local residents and the senior lunch program through the Providence Regina House Food Bank, Mien senior citizens, and Concord Elementary School students and their families.

It’s easy to see why our volunteers enjoy working at Marra Farm so much – the farm gives back to the community in a huge way! But another main reason we all love working with them is because of the coordinators, Robin and Sue.

Robin and Sue have always been great to our volunteers – they make sure that each person working at the farm knows exactly what they are contributing to in the long run. This makes volunteers feel like they’re a part of something bigger – that they’re really making a difference. They’re also always on top of things, whether it’s applying for Team Works teams, connecting with hosts or scheduling Hot Projects.

The Seattle Works staff (and volunteers) would like to say thank you to Marra Farm for always keeping our volunteers engaged, excited and enthusiastic about giving back, and for providing them with an awesome way to do so!

Stay tuned for one more blog post in honor of National Volunteer Week – I know you want to!

 

Volunteering Is Fulfilling For Holly Wyrwich! April 24, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 8:30 am
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It’s day three of our National-Volunteer-Week-blog-post-recognition extravaganza! Below are the top 10 reasons (we don’t have enough room to list them all) we love our featured volunteer of the day, Holly Wyrwich:


1. She has been volunteering with Seattle Works since 2008. Um, that’s 5 years. Woot!

2. She has coordinated over 23 Hot Projects.

3. She has attended over 40 Hot Projects.

4. She is always excited and ready to give back!

5. She has given her time to so many organizations: Phinney Neighborhood Association, Alliance for Education, Seattle Ladies Choir, ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, Camelot Society, Seattle Goodwill, North Helpline and – if you can believe it – there’s more!

6. She spent her 30th birthday volunteering on Seattle Works Day last year. Seriously, how awesome is that?

7. She gives great feedback on projects. In fact, we’ve even changed a few things per her suggestion that have made projects even better.

8. Volunteering in her words: “A friend of mine calls herself the “selfish volunteer” because giving back makes her feel good. I would definitely put myself in that category. I volunteer because it’s fulfilling and enjoyable for me. I feel privileged to have the time and opportunities to offer contributions to my community in even the smallest way, and I love Seattle Works for helping make that possible!”

9. Her husband is participating in Seattle Works Day again this year. Holly can’t make it, so he’s representing their household – but not before she gives him a pep talk about being a stellar coordinator! Plus, she’ll be there in spirit.

10. She’s modest about her volunteering; when told she was chosen for this blog, she replied: “That’s so nice, and I don’t think I deserve it at all! There are so many stellar coordinators.”

Guess what, Holly? We think you’re stellar! 

Want to volunteer with Holly? Sign up for a few Hot Projects and you’ll be sure to meet her soon!

Stay tuned for more Seattle Works rock star recognition! 

 

Networking Among Volunteer Leaders February 19, 2013

We pride ourselves on training Seattle’s next generation of community leaders. We do this through several different programs, including The Bridge and HandsOn Leadership. Each year, Seattle Works trains over 200 people to be volunteer leaders in the community – and now we’re taking it to the next level.

We are excited to announce our new alumni network: 

LeadNOW_logo

Why are we doing this?

Past Seattle Works participants are valuable assets to our organization and can serve as a helpful resource to one another for those currently participating in our training programs. Seattle Works will cultivate these relationships and facilitate mentorship opportunities.

How will it work?

As participants go through our training programs, or lead through Team Works or Hot Projects there will be more focus on creating a cohort of leaders. Each cohort then will become their own circle within LeadNOW. Our hope is that each circle will then stay in touch with each other, help each other with issues they are facing in their leadership development and serve as resources to one another. We’ll also have a few circles in place that will be interest area focused for members to join; this could include fundraising, finances or transition to executive committee.

What will LeadNOW offer?

Under LeadNOW, we will host several events throughout the year:

  • LeaderSip – monthly happy hour events featuring different discussion topics
  • Pop-up leadership forums & workshops
  • Online forums through LinkedIn
  • Lecture series focusing on nonprofit leadership, governance and volunteerism
  • And much more…

What do I have to do to be a member?

LeadNOW membership is simple:

  • Be a graduate of The Bridge or HandsOn Leadership; or,
  • Be a past or present Team Captain or Project Coordinator; and
  • Yearly membership fee of only $50

What are the benefits of membership? 

  • Access to exclusive online forums & resources
  • Invitations to all LeadNOW events; plus one event for free!
  • Access to a wide network of individuals who are making an impact in their community
  • Make new friends and connections
  • A community to go to for growth & development
  • Opportunities to join different circles within the network

Stay tuned for more information about when we will have the first LeaderSip!

To learn more or ask any questions, email Ben@seattleworks.org. 

 

Hot Project Volunteers Rock the Afterschool Math and Science Kit Build January 18, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 3:45 pm
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A Saturday morning, bright and early, 25 awesome volunteers came out to help Washington Alliance for Better Schools build over 70 afterschool math and science kits.

This doesn’t sound too challenging right? Well each individual kit has something like 10 – 35 items in them. Plus, each of those items have to be counted out or measured – which is seriously time consuming.  A job that would have taken days without the extra help from these volunteers.  In just four hours all the kits were built and ready to be handed out to the volunteers at their training the next week!

Where do these kits go?

Each kit is headed out to a classroom in one of thirteen different school districts from West Seattle, to the south end, all the way up to Everett and beyond!  Boeing employees volunteer to deliver six weeks worth of after school programming either in mathematics or science.  They either go into 4th and 5th grade classes, or 6th – 8th.

This program allows the students to hear from people that use these skills every day in their jobs!  It also gives them the time and opportunity to perform cool experiments like building a water wheel to explore energy, or playing probabilty games.

Does this kind of easy volunteering sound like something that you can do?  Do you have four hours on a Saturday to donate to an organization that needs your help?  If so, check out our Hot Project calendar and sign up when you can!

 

Hot Project Coordinators Hit The Ground Running! January 12, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 1:00 am
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Wednesday 1/9/13 was pretty great: I met our fantastic Hot Project Coordinators – and they received the information needed to be an awesome and effective coordinator!

Here’s some of what they learned:

  • Why their leadership is so essential: they keep everyone up-to-date via email, facilitate attendance, help manage projects, lead the group in reflection and plan social outings. Sounds like a pretty important role to me!
  • Requirements: they have to coordinate 3 projects every quarter (1 each month, 3 in 1 month and nothing the other 2 – they can switch it up), and attend at least 1 out of the 3 events we will hold yearly. Now, we won’t break anyone’s arm to enforce these – but it’s nice to have some guidelines.
  • Why attendance is so important: we want to know which projects are successful, and be able to show awesome results to our Board of Directors, HandsOn Network affiliates, major donors, etc. Essentially, we want to brag about our volunteers!
  • Have fun: this is the most important lesson! Volunteering and giving back should be fun – and we can’t wait to hear all the stories for 2013.

Here were some of the questions the coordinators had for us:

  • Q: Can we somehow show on the calendar which projects need coordinators, and which don’t?
  • A: Yes, yes we can! We are looking into what will work best.
  • Q: Will we get in trouble if we don’t hit the 3 projects every quarter requirement?
  • A: Of course not! We understand you have jobs, friends, family, etc. While we would like our coordinators to be that involved – we can always work something out.

Want to join this awesome community? You’re in luck – we start recruiting for new Project Coordinators in Feb! Email me at irina@seattleworks.org and we’ll get you started!

 

There’s No Excuse to Not Volunteer – Especially With These Tips! January 4, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 11:44 am
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The HandsOn Blog from HandsOn Network published an awesome article with 9 different ways to make volunteering a part of your new year. Starting to volunteer may scare people: where do I go, how do I begin? Don’t let these thoughts halt your efforts to make your community a more connected and active place! Here are some great tips on how to get started:

1. Find a cause you care about: we know you aren’t going to pull blackberry bushes all year if you hate gardening. Find what you love.

2.  Find a way to help: you may care about a lot of things – but then you actually have to help that cause. Find organizations that can help you find volunteer opportunities that support your cause – like us!

3. Do a little research: chances are, there’s more than one organization that supports your cause. Look over the different opportunities and see which one sparks your interest the most.

4. Sign up for a project: it’s really easy – we promise. Check out our Project Calendar to see just how simple it is.

5. Remember it’s okay to ask questions: don’t be shy and ask away! Our job is to make you feel excited and comfortable.

6. Show up ready to have fun: we want our volunteers to have a blast! Be open to new ideas, new tasks and new people – you’ll be surprised at just how fun volunteering can be.

7. Take time to reflect on your experience: to better understand how your work strengthens the community, take a few minutes to think/talk about what you have done. You’ll feel even more awesome!

8. Keep making a difference: volunteering once is great; volunteering on a regular basis is even better! If you loved the organization you volunteered for – great, keep coming back. If you didn’t quite fit in – that’s also great, because now you can try out a different organization.

9. Pass it along: come one, come all! Get your whole family volunteering. Or bring your best friend. Involve the people you care about in a cause you care about. And then take some goofy pictures. Sounds awesome to me.

 

Read the full article for all the details on how to make 2013 (and every year after) the year of giving back: http://handsonblog.org/2013/01/03/9-ways-to-make-volunteering-a-part-of-your-new-year/?sf8310327=1

 

 
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