Seattle Works

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

Volunteer Perspective: August Team Works August 25, 2009

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 4:52 pm

Each month Team Works volunteers focus on a specific community issue. August = education. In addition to volunteer projects, teams were challenged to collect school supplies for Stuff the Bus and to send a childhood school picture.

A number of teams collected items for the cause, and we got one adorable photo: Celeste is on the first row, third from the left.


 And here are some perspectives from team Little Lebowski’s Urban Achievers about their project at Cleveland High School:

“Project Mulch – We mulched plant beds, shoveled mulch and moved mounds of mulch from places that had too much to places that did not. It was hard, physical labour and the end result was real/ visible – very gratifying in every respect.”  -Akshat

“Last Saturday, my volunteer team participated in gardening the Cleveland High School in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. This was by far the most demanding task I have volunteered for. According to Seattle School District coordinator, Gretchen DeDecker, we moved 30 yards of mulch.

The school is a historic building which reminded me of my previous schools in Turkey. Working in the school yard kept taking me back to my childhood when I was in high school; not the working part but the part when I spent the class breaks playing soccer outside the classroom or simply doing everything that I don’t do today. It’s amazing how 10 minute break felt like hours back then.”    -Mehmet Ali

Sound like fun? Registration for the latest round of Team Works opens Wed 8/24!


Pics and thanks from our 8/1 project at Arbor Heights Elementary August 17, 2009

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 10:26 pm

Need an excuse to smile?


“I’ve been receiving nothing but praise and thanks from many members of our Arbor Heights Elementary community. People are really excited about the painting that you did!

Thanks so very much from all of us at Arbor Heights Elementary. We couldn’t have completed this project without you!” – Katie Sowers




Kind of sort of making a claim to the Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50 list

Filed under: Grab bag,Influence — seattleworks @ 10:10 pm

Congratulations to Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute, for being named – again! – as one of the Top 50 folks in Nonprofit Times’ Power & Influence list.

Seattle Works is a proud member of Hands On Network, the volunteer arm of Point of Light. And we are darn proud to have Michelle as our fearless (and smart and visionary and very charming) leader.

Article  and Top 50 list at:  (not sure if I’m digging the fashion metaphor they’re trying to run with here, but the list itself is an allstar lineup)

– Tara


Welcome to our new blog! August 14, 2009

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 6:55 pm

Hi to all you readers out there!  We at Seattle Works have decided that we are in need of a change of scenery…for our blog! 


Below are some highlights from the past year that were posted on our old blog.   We hope that you all enjoy this new blog set up as much as we do!


Ballot Party August 11, 2009

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 6:33 pm

If you weren’t at the Ballot Party, you missed out.  Sole Repair was packed with Seattle Works regulars, newcomers, bloggers, and candidates.  Everyone had a great time mixing, mingling, drinking, and chatting with the candidates.  Throughout the night, there were several speakers including Gabe Meyer from the Muni League, Joan Sammon a Red County Blogger, and Josh Feit and Erica Barnett from Publicola.


Big thank yous to Fred Northup—our emcee for the night; Ballot Party committee members Patrick Bell, Gabe Meyer, Kendee Yamaguichi, Cynara Lily, and Michael Taylor-Judd; Seattle Works intern-extraordinaire Melody; Grace Hoffman—Sole Repair Shop; the candidates;  speakers Gabe Meyer, Joan Sammon, and Josh Feit and Erica Barnett; and of course, the attendees.


If you did miss out, or if you just like political events, look out for Speed Candidating (time and date TBD) and the Municipal League’s Election Watch (Tue. August 18th at Twist Belltown).  We’ll post more information on those events as they approach.



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Everything you wanted to know…

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 6:29 pm

about voting in the primary, of course!

There’s a primary election happening now and it’s super huge.

On the ballot: City Council, Mayor, King County Executive, Port Commission, School Board – basically everybody who runs our local government.  Big time.

I want to make sure you vote… smart, so I’m sending you everything you need to know, courtesy of the Washington Bus.
How and when do I vote?
-You have to mail your ballot by August 18th, otherwise it won’t count. Make sure you stamp and sign it too!
-It’s a mail-in ballot, which means you should have received it at your house (or wherever you’re registered) already.

If you haven’t seen your ballot, contact the Secretary of State to figure out why, and to make sure you can vote. The phone number to call is 1-800-448-4881.

Who do I vote for?
Well, that’s up to you, naturally, but here are some good resources to get a handle on this year’s races.

-The Stranger – endorsements

-The Times – endorsements

– County exec videos

– Publicola – endorsements

– KUOW – audio coverage

– Republicans – endorsements


Comparing the above you see lots of differing opinions.  With that in mind, I am happy to tell you who voted for and why.  Just ask.


Thanks!  Send your ballot in by August 18th.

— Thomas Goldstein, The Washington Bus


WTA & Seattle Works at Mt. Rainier August 7, 2009

Filed under: Service Trips,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 6:25 pm


WTA Trip Blog- Part One

It’s been about five years since I did trail work with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in Colorado, so when given the opportunity to lead a Seattle Works crew on a reconstruction project at Mt. Rainier, I jumped at the chance.  What better way to spend a weekend then working with good people in beautiful scenery?

10 of us set out Friday evening, equipped with S’mores ingredients, sleeping bags, and some of the most elaborate tents I’ve ever seen.  Reporting to the trail head on Saturday morning at 8:30 we met up with some other Washington Trails volunteers, as well as our fearless Trail Leader Yarrow and his second in command Lynn.  After our safety talk we were outfitted with hardcore green hard hats and off we went, tromping up the Glacier Basin Trail as it wound through old-growth forest to our first work site.  Project #1 was shoveling and hauling up loads of gravel from the river bed to backfill an already built rock wall and bring it up to tread.  An energetic and enthusiastic bucket line was formed that wound its way up the incline from the river to the wall.  Bicep-building for sure, but spirits were running high.  After lunch (and, we’ll admit, maybe a break or two) it was time to tackle a variety of little tasks that needed finishing along that section of trail.  A little after three we finished up hot, sweaty, and dusty, stored the tools and hiked back out to have some cool drinks and cookies (thanks WTA!).

After a strenuous but successful first day, some of the group opted to go for a hike, while others decided to bask in the sun down by the rapidly running, glacier-fed river coming down from the mountain.  And one person decided to actually get IN the water in a very shallow calm spot, even though it was honestly cold enough to make your bones hurt.   That night was dinner, which ranged from shrimp cooked over the fire, to plain turkey dogs, to my own TJ’s instant meal, and the most impressive, fresh Pad Thai made by our resident chef (which she graciously shared. Mmmmm).  Dinner was followed by plenty of S’mores (with milk and dark chocolate) and funny conversation around the campfire, until people decided to turn in with the realization that we had to get up extra early the next day to break camp before heading out to work.

Sunday was another scorcher, and the main activity for the day was wrestling with giant rocks as we worked on rebuilding a rock wall that had been hastily completed to move equipment through but wasn’t really sturdy enough.  If you’ve never had the opportunity to try to manipulate boulders that weigh more than you, well, maybe it’s time to start.  Plenty of breaks, Trader Joe’s Sweet, Savory, and Tart Trail Mix, and Yarrow’s bag o’treats kept everyone going, even though progress was a little slow.  Other projects for the day included ramping up some stairs and clearing out debris. 

Finally, we finished up the trip with a BANG- pulling the detonating string to explode some boulders that were in the path.  In a very safe manner.  It was pretty darn cool.

So a big thanks to my awesome crew, who made the weekend so much fun, as well as to Yarrow, Lynn, and WTA for helping make this project happen!  Anyone who’s interested in volunteering through them can check out for more information on this and other trail work parties.

Stay tuned for some blogs from the crew themselves!

And for more amazing photos: